Revealing Physical and Ecological Dynamics at an Ice Edge – a Robotic Approach
Wulff, T. (1) ; Lehmenhecker, S. (1) ; Hagemann, J. (1) ; Busack, M. (1) ; Tippenhauer, S. (1) ; Strohmeier, M. (2) ; Rothe, J. (2)
1: Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
2: University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany
Marginal ice zones (MIZs) are characterized by the complex and dynamic interaction between the atmosphere, the ice, and the ocean. This high dynamics put MIZs among the – biologically – most productive regions of our planet and make them an ideal place to investigate the coupling between physics and ecology. Fostered by the last decades´ technological progress in robotics and sensor technology, marine sciences are increasingly able to monitor and understand these processes, which occur on very small scales – both temporal and spatial.
The German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) has regularly operated an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) in the Arctic and especially in the MIZ of the Fram Strait since 2009. Starting in 2011 / 2012 AWI has also used Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to support AUV operations and gather a holistic picture of the investigated area. In our talk we will give an overview on the equipment and infrastructure used to support our AUV dives including an UAV for operations at high latitudes. We will present technical details of our vehicle´s scientific payload which is specifically designed to investigate the physical dynamics of the marginal ice zone and its ecological response.
EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut