The mission of the Innovative Technology for Arctic Exploration (ITAE) program is to conceptualize and build effective research equipment for the assessment of the Arctic environment and ecosystem with the operation of high-resolution sensors on autonomous platforms near sea ice. The dynamic and ﬁne-scale nature of these regions requires responsive, high-resolution data collection over large areas in real time, a logistical challenge ideally suited to fast, mobile autonomous platforms rather than traditional ship-based operations.
ITAE is a collaborative research effort by NOAA engineers and scientists at the Pacific Marine Environmental Lab (PMEL), and the Universities of Washington (CICOES) and Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Learn more at the ITAE website.
The saildrone shown above is a wind powered autonomous sailboat with on-board environmental sensors and controlled from shore through satellite communications. This is the first test of a Saildrone both north of 53° N and with scientific equipment. Engineers at PMEL worked closely with Saildrone Inc. to incorporate scientists data requests with this amazing platform by which to conduct research. Click to see a YouTube video of the Saildrone Summer 2015 mission in the Bering Sea .
Photo credit: Launching a Saildrone in Dutch Harbor, AK. Photo ©Saildrone Inc. 2015