Cost-Effective Technologies to Study the Arctic Ocean Environment

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Jul 13;18(7):2257. doi: 10.3390/s18072257.


The Arctic region is known to be severely affected by climate change, with evident alterations in both physical and biological processes. Monitoring the Arctic Ocean ecosystem is key to understanding the impact of natural and human-induced change on the environment. Large data sets are required to monitor the Arctic marine ecosystem and validate high-resolution satellite observations (e.g., Sentinel), which are necessary to feed climatic and biogeochemical forecasting models. However, the Global Observing System needs to complete its geographic coverage, particularly for the harsh, extreme environment of the Arctic Region. In this scenario, autonomous systems are proving to be valuable tools for increasing the resolution of existing data. To this end, a low-cost, miniaturized and flexible probe, ArLoC (Arctic Low-Cost probe), was designed, built and installed on an innovative unmanned marine vehicle, the PROTEUS (Portable RObotic TEchnology for Unmanned Surveys), during a preliminary scientific campaign in the Svalbard Archipelago within the UVASS project. This study outlines the instrumentation used and its design features, its preliminary integration on PROTEUS and its test results.

Keywords: Arctic Ocean; fluorescence of chlorophyll a; low-cost technology; temperature.