National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2016

The use of Saildrones to examine spring conditions in the Bering Sea: Instrument comparisons, sea ice meltwater and Yukon River plume studies

Cokelet, E.D., R. Jenkins, C. Meinig, N. Lawrence-Slavas, C.W. Mordy, P.J. Stabeno, H. Tabisola, and J.N. Cross

In Oceans 2015 MTS/IEEE, Marine Technology Society and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Washington, DC, 19–22 October 2015, doi: 10.23919/OCEANS.2015.7404357 (2015)

New technologies can help scientists measure and understand Arctic warming, sea ice loss and ecosystem change. NOAA has worked with Saildrone, Inc., to develop an unmanned surface vehicle (USV)—Saildrone—to make ocean surface measurements autonomously, even in challenging high-latitude conditions. USVs augment traditional research ship cruises, mitigate ship risk in high seas and shallow water, and make lower cost measurements. Under remote control, USV sampling strategy can be adapted to meet changing needs. Two Saildrones conducted 97-day missions in the Bering Sea in spring-summer 2015, reliably measuring atmospheric and oceanic parameters. Measurements were validated against shipboard values. Following that, the Saildrone sampling strategies were modified, first to measure the effects of sea-ice melt on surface cooling and freshening, and then to study the Yukon River plume.

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

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