Acoustic Technology for observing the interior of the Arctic Ocean

Initiative Type: Projects

BeleĢm Statement Area: Ocean Resources, Ocean Technology, Polar Research

Initiative Location: France,Germany,Norway,United Kingdom,United States of America

Time Frame: 2008 - 2013


ACOBAR will develop an observing system for the interior of the Arctic Ocean based on underwater acoustic methods including tomography, data transmission and communication to/from underwater platforms, and navigation of gliders. ACOBAR offers complementary methods to the ARGO system, which has limited capability in ice-covered seas. Data collection and transmission from the water column, the seafloor and the subseafloor will be possible in ice-covered seas based on research conducted in ACOBAR. The research will contribute to filling gaps in the global ocean observing system and thereby support the development of GEOSS. ACOBAR will implement field experiments with acoustic sources and receivers as well as gliders in the Fram Strait. Acoustic travel time data will be used to obtain integrated 3-D fields of temperature, transports and heat fluxes. Long-range acoustic navigation commands will be tested to operate gliders. Data transmission from fixed moorings via acoustic modems to the surface for downloading from ships or for satellite transmission will be implemented. The existing array of acoustic sources from ice-tethered platforms in the Arctic Ocean will be tested for tomographic measurements of water mass properties. Data from tomography arrays and other underwater platforms will be disseminated to users with near real-time capability, including assimilation in ocean models.

Contact: Stein Sandven, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center,

Initiative Website: