The Arctic is one of the most rapidly changing areas on the planet, and is also one of the most difficult places to effectively monitor. Challenging logistics and fierce environmental conditions prevent most technologies and monitoring programs from ever setting foot there. In the face of global climate change, there is an immediate need for robust technological solutions and innovative deployment methods that can respond to this growing demand.
The primary purpose of the Ocean Networks Canada project was to test a low cost cable-protection deployment technique as well as the chosen armor’s ability to withstand extreme arctic conditions. The entire manifest of hardware, equipment, and tools for this deployment had to be compact enough to fit on a small aircraft to make it possible to use the solution almost anywhere in the arctic (or around the world), and on relatively short notice.
Another element that needed to withstand the harsh environment and long deployment duration was the instrumentation: enter AML Oceanographic. Since the results of this test would dictate future monitoring and deployment techniques, the value of the data to be collected was high. With biofouling conditions unknown, preventative measures had to be taken. Given a strong desire to not deploy toxic anti-fouling substances in the Arctic’s fragile ecosystem, AML’s UV biofouling control technology was the ideal choice.
An AML Metrec•X sonde equipped with CTD, Turbidity, and Chlorophyll A sensors, protected by UV•Xchange biofouling control, was selected for the deployment (see first image). Additionally, AML’s modular design of all of their components allowed for their UV timer system – the Duty Cycle Controller – to be re-purposed for controlling power to the entire system, thereby allowing for an anticipated 1 year to 18 month deployment life using a standard subsea battery. The raw data are stored on the instrument and backed up on the “shore-buoy” before being transmitted back to Ocean Networks Canada at regular intervals. From there the data are made instantly available to the research community and to the general public for both viewing and download at www.oceannetworks.ca
Ryan Flagg is the Observatory Support Engineer for Ocean Networks Canada (ONC). He implemented ONC’s first cabled “Community Observatory” in 2011 and led the installation of ONC’s first arctic observatory (Cambridge Bay, Nunavut) in 2012. He has helped lead almost every subsequent maintenance operation and continues to assist with community engagement and to take part in research and instrument testing in Cambridge Bay. Ryan is actively helping to propose, plan for, and implement new monitoring initiatives throughout the north and along Canada’s other coastlines. Outside ONC, Ryan has served as a Marine Engineering Systems Operator with the Canadian Armed Forces Navy Reserves for over fifteen years.
Learn how AML's UV-protected instrumentation can make a difference for you.
AML’s X•Series instrumentation features a modular sensor design – technology that has proven it can deliver reliable and accurate data in tough environments while providing flexibility and convenience, making it the instrumentation of choice for hundreds of organizations around the world.