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Advances in Beacon Technology to Track Drift of Sea Ice and Icebergs

Author(s): Scott Tiffin; Ian Turnbull; Tyler Sylvestre; Juan Acevedo

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Abstract: Beacons measuring position and transmitting the data via satellite are useful for science, government and industry activities, to track the location and movement of sea and glacial ice in polar and subarctic regions. There are different postioning and telemetry systems, but GPSIridium and Argos are the best for polar applications. Designing ice drift beacons requires state of the art technology for managing power use and ensuring functionality at extremely low temperatures, along with complex and sometimes incompatible design challenges to allow for air deployment, polar bear and meltout resistance, minimal hydrodynamic performance and some capability to survive refreeze. There is great potential for rapid innovation with these highly specialized field instruments, but commercial developments are limited by the small size of the marke niche.


Year: 2012

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