National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2024

Innovative technologies powering Arctic observing

Tabisola, H.M., C.W. Mordy, and S. Stalin

Oceanography, 36(2–3), 216–221, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2023.232, View open access article online at Oceanography (external link) (2023)

Since 2015, the Innovative Technology for Arctic Exploration (ITAE) program has supported maritime technology development that contributes to economic growth, ocean health, and ocean management in Alaska. The program does this in multiple ways: through public-private partnerships, platform and small-scale sensor design, and research to operations, commercialization, and application of science-driven technologies. ITAE is a high-risk, high-reward research collaborative that provides support and expertise for creative scientists pursuing highly innovative research solutions with the potential for broad impact in US Arctic marine sciences. This program is funded through NOAA to support projects that may be overlooked in the traditional peer-review process because of their inherent risk. However, not all risks lead to success, not every risk leads to failure, and not all failures eliminate success. Development and growth are nurtured by risk and temporary setbacks. The science advanced by these researchers and collaborators forges new paths of discovery. While the Arctic is an excellent testbed, in part, due to its extreme conditions, the technologies and lessons detailed here are transferable to oceanographic research outside of the Arctic. This paper reviews the ITAE program as well as the successes and failures of this dedicated Arctic innovation collaborative at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.

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