Using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles as Sensor Platforms for Ice-Monitoring
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionModeling, Identification and Control 2014, 35(4):263-277 10.4173/mic.2014.4.4
Due to the receding sea-ice extent in the Arctic, and the potentially large undiscovered petroleum resources present north of the Arctic circle, offshore activities in ice-infested waters are increasing. Due to the presence of drifting sea-ice and icebergs, ice management (IM) becomes an important part of the offshore operation, and an important part of an IM system is the ability to reliably monitor the ice conditions. An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) has a unique capability of high underwater spatial and temporal coverage, making it suitable for monitoring applications. Since the first Arctic AUV deployment in 1972, AUV technology has matured and has been used in complex under-ice operations. This paper motivates the use of AUVs as an ice-monitoring sensor platform. It discusses relevant sensor capabilities and challenges related to communication and navigation. This paper also presents experiences from a field campaign that took place in Ny-Aalesund at Svalbard in January 2014, where a REMUS 100 AUV was used for sea-floor mapping and collection of oceanographic parameters. Based on this, we discuss the experiences related to using AUVs for ice-monitoring. We conclude that AUVs are highly applicable for ice-monitoring, but further research is needed.