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Technology and Code ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00649

Manual recovery of a sea ice based ocean profiler

 Christian Katlein1*, Matthieu Labaste2 and  Mario Hoppmann1
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Germany
  • 2UMR7159 Laboratoire d'océanographie et du climat expérimentations et approches numériques (LOCEAN), France

Ice-tethered ocean profiling systems are an essential tool for the year-round observation of physical and biogeochemical properties of the Arctic Ocean. Despite being considered expendable equipment due to the challenging logistics, their recovery is attractive mainly due to two factors: If the sensors can be retrieved, this allows for their post calibration, which helps to assess sensor drift and biofouling. In addition, the recovery of such expensive equipment can ease off financial pressure on autonomous ocean observation programs by enabling the reuse of central elements after refurbishment. Here we present a method how such profiling systems can be recovered from sea ice by 3 people in about 4 hours, without the on-site availability of a fully-equipped vessel. The presented technique combines rope techniques from mountain rescue applications with lightweight equipment and procedures similar to those used for the deployment of such instruments. We provide a detailed description of the whole process, provide suggestions for potential improvements as well as suggestions towards improved instrument design favoring recoverability of future deployments. We conclude that good preparation and practice of the relevant rope procedures is critical to mission success and that a well selected range of necessary equipment makes the process much more efficient.

Keywords: sea ice, ocean, profiler, Buoy, Field techniques, retrieval

Received: 04 Jul 2019; Accepted: 04 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Katlein, Labaste and Hoppmann. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Christian Katlein, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven, Germany, ckatlein@awi.de