In April/May 2021, APECS organized an Online Technical Training in the frame of ARICE. The aim of the training modules was to offer early career researchers and professionals insights into technical aspects of ship-based polar research and share knowledge and new developments of technical instruments and equipment used on icebreakers and polar research vessels in ice-covered waters.
Six exciting training modules were taught by experts in engineering, technical and scientific practitioners, covering topics of marine robotics, atmospheric measurements, mooring operations, laboratory work on a moving ship and best practices in technical science support. The course was attended live by both, scientists and technical professionals.
All workshop video recordings are now available online on the APECS vimeo channel and below.
How to build a Sea Robot
Time: 8:00 – 11:30 GMT
Massimo Caccia, Research Director at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR, National Research Council of Italy)
Angelo Odetti, Researcher at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR, National Research Council of Italy)
Raffaella Beroldo, Administrative Assistant at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR, National Research Council of Italy)
Course summary: This course offered a historical overview of polar marine robotics, considerations and experiences for robot design in cold environments, operational and logistic aspects and experiences from the activities of the National Research Council of Italy (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, CNR). Participants applied the knowledge gained in the course to plan a hypothetical campaign for a semi-submersible vehicle to acquire data and samples at the ice-water-air interface.
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 GMT
Hanne Sagen, Senior Researcher, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC), Norway
Agnieszka Beszczynska-Möller, Senior Researcher, Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAN), Poland
Course summary: Fixed ocean moorings are the main platforms to provide long-term observations of marine environment, covering different time scales from shorter than hourly to monthly, seasonal and multi-annual measurements. Moored instruments can measure different ocean variables, including physical, biogeochemical and biological parameters (and also collect samples and visual images) in the entire water column, also under the sea ice. However, mooring operations in the demanding, ice-covered polar areas are linked to unique challenges, related both to the platform design (instrumentation and mooring hardware) and to the manner of deployment and recovery from an icebreaker in conditions of partial or even sea ice cover. During this short course, we introduced the main issues about how to plan, design, equip and operate a mooring for measurements in the polar region and discuss planning the campaign and specific ship operations for deployment and recovery of moorings in ice-covered waters. The details of such work were explored using a case study with the deep ocean acoustic multidisciplinary moorings deployed under the CAATEX project for 2019-2020 in the Arctic Ocean from the Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker KV Svalbard.
Time: 16:00 – 18:30 GMT
Vito Vitale, Senior Researcher, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR, National Research Council of Italy), Italy, and colleagues
Course summary: Long-term continuous ground-based atmospheric observations are strongly constrained by land distribution and are still very limited over the sea, particularly in polar regions where fixed installations (buoys) are limited by sea ice. Ship-based atmospheric measurements can potentially close an important knowledge gap, particularly with the aim of validating satellite observations and atmospheric models. This course explored the challenges of taking atmospheric measurements on research ships. A team of experts introduced and moderated a discussion of relevant topics, the opportunities arising from new technologies and concrete examples of best practices. The overall aim was to communicate the possibility of organizing research ships expeditions as multi-domain observing platforms, which is necessary if we want to elucidate the most important mechanisms and processes that drive the climatic system in the Arctic.
Time: 8:00 – 9:30 GMT
Bjorg Apeland, Antarctic marine engineering team, British Antarctic Survey (BAS)
Course summary: This course presented an overview of BAS’s equipment options, spares, how we do things, what we can do better, and what we think we do well, followed by a discussion on best practice.
Time: 13:00 – 14:30 GMT
Aisling Smith and Natalie Ensor, Laboratory Managers, RRS Sir David Attenborough, British Antarctic Survey (BAS)
Course summary: Laboratory use on board polar research vessels raise some unique challenges for the British Antarctic Survey. A moving platform, rough seas, seasick lab users, and tight mob/de-mob windows are but a few of the unique situations Laboratory managers must navigate. Complex licensing and permitting requirements enter every aspect of work onboard and can help inform questions like 'how do you ship a penguin?'. We explored some aspects of working on board BAS's polar research vessels.