Using Ice Predictions to Guide Submarines
Journal Article - Open Access
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON DC United States
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Whether an Arctic mission requires the use of an icebreaker, Navy ships in open water, unmanned aerial or underwater vehicles, or even a submarine, knowledge of environmental conditions are of great importance to mission success and safety. For more than 50 years, submarines have conducted under-ice operations in the Arctic in support of inter fleet transit, training, cooperative allied engagements, and other operations. A significant effort that occurs every two to three years is ICEX Ice Exercise which provides training opportunities as submarines transit the Arctic Ocean on their way between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. ICEX2014, the most recent exercise, was brought to an unexpectedly early end. The ICEX began on 17 March and was scheduled to continue through 30 March. Large shifts in wind direction, however, created instabilities in the wind-driven ice floes of the Arctic Ocean, and these changes in the prevailing winds led to multiple fractures in the ice near the camp. These cracks prevented the use of several airfields used for transporting personnel and equipment to the ice camp. The rapidly changing conditions of the ice, along with extremely low temperatures and poor visibility, hampered operations.
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography