CURRENT PROJECTS




  • ICE CONDITIONS (ICECON) FOR THE GREAT LAKES
    A Great Lakes Ice Classification System with Potential Future Application in the Arctic
    The Great Lakes are the place in the U.S. where the U.S. Coast Guard has the most interaction with vessels in ice. In collaboration with the Coast Guard and others, ADAC’s project team is working to develop an ice condition index (ICECON) for the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes. ICECON is a decision support tool that combines vessel class information with nowcast and forecast lake ice conditions. Researchers plan ICECON forecasts up to 120 hours into the future, making use of circulation and ice models developed by NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL). The models will account for Icebreaker activity and its impact on ice conditions. In parallel with the development of ICECON, ADAC will identify and adopt a vessel classification system to define a number of vessel classes and the ice-capability of ships in those classes (in terms of ICECON). The ICECON system will help the Coast Guardprovide guidance and appropriate decision support to Great Lakes marine vessels (for a given class) planning a given transit.

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  • INTEGRATED EDUCATION
    Building the Department of Homeland Security’s Next Generation of Arctic STEM Professionals
    Education outreach and workforce development is a core mission for ADAC. ADAC’s Integrated Education program currently encompases three projects: Career Development Grant Scholarships, the Minority Serving Insitution (MSI) Summer Intern Program, and the Arctic Summer Internship Program (ASIP). The intent of ADAC’s integrated education program is to contribute to the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professionals for the Homeland Security Enterprise. In Program Year 4, ADAC will conduct the Arctic Summer Intern Program (ASIP) which will integrate visiting Minority Serving Institution (MSI) student interns with participating ADAC fellows in a comprehensive orientation and mission-focused education experience which will include individual research concept development, visits to Arctic-concerned Federal entities in the Anchorage area, and a 2-week Arctic field work experience at Utqiagvik (Barrow) Alaska.

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  • VESSEL TRACKING TO PRIORITIZE BATHYMETRIC SURVEYS
    Mapping New Sea Lanes as They Open
    Mariners transiting the Arctic Ocean currently rely on maps of the underwater topography that are decades, if not centuries old. Much of the data used in these bathymetric maps is not only outdated, but it was collected using primitive techniques such as lead-line soundings. As vessel traffic increases in the Arctic, mariners and first responders will need more current and accurate bathymetric maps to operate safely in Arctic waters. ADAC’s partners at the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS), Axiom Data Science LLC, and the Marine Exchange of Alaska are using parallel computing and other “big data” techniques to analyze exceptionally large collections of Automated Information System (AIS) vessel tracking data. The goal is to build a detailed picture of shipping traffic in the Arctic. This will be used to prioritize sea floor mapping using modern, high resolution techniques, in the areas where that information is needed most.

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  • HIGH RESOLUTION ICE-OCEAN MODELING AND ASSIMILATION SYSTEM (HIOMAS)
    Accurate Sea Ice and Ocean Current Prediction Data for the Arctic
    This ADAC project is developing an accurate, High-resolution Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (HIOMAS) to simulate and predict sea ice and currents in the Arctic Ocean. The system is to be calibrated and validated using a range of available sea ice and ocean observations and then used for (near) real-time hindcast and daily-to-seasonal forecast of Arctic Ocean currents, sea ice, and change. The research pays particular attention to the prediction of spatial distribution of ice motion and thickness, the fraction of thick-ridged or multi-year ice, and to the retreat and advance of ice edge. These are the sea ice factors, which are most relevant to Arctic operators. The prediction data will allow the Coast Guard to more safely and reliably conduct search and rescue missions and may also be useful for assisting other stakeholders in the planning and management of economic activities and for other modeling efforts, such as oil spill and wave modeling.

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  • ARCTIC OIL SPILL MODELLING
    New Tools for Tracking Arctic Oil Spills
    ADAC’s team is developing techniques to estimate the spread of oil in ice-bound environments and produce forecasting models which can be coupled with existing oil spill forecasting systems. These techniques will estimate the spread of oil released under ice by well blow-outs and pipeline ruptures as well as oil released among ice by events such as ship groundings. The models will utilize Arctic sea ice and current data from the High-Resolution Ice/Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (HIOMAS) and will be incorporated into the General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME) as well as ADAC’s principle end-to-end effort, Arctic Information Fusion Capability (AIFC).

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  • Long Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (LRAUV)
    A New Capability for Under-Ice Mapping of Oil Spills and Environmental Hazards
    The increasing level of commercial marine activity in high latitudes creates an ever-growing risk of oil spills. Characterizing oil spills in remote, austere Arctic locations is a daunting challenge to the U.S. Coast Guard. ADAC partners at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have developed a small, long-range system called the Tethys Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). As a long range AUV, the Tethys is helicopter-portable, allowing rapid response to incidents to provide situational awareness for first responders. Outcomes of this project will be the construction of a small, long-range AUV (LRAUV) based on a modified Tethys platform equipped with oil sensors and navigation systems; demonstration of the LRAUV survey capability; and creation of a simulator for operationally gaming AUV deployments for oil spills. Gaining an autonomous underwater capability to survey oil spills at high latitudes and under ice, at long range, answers an unmet need for the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard.

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  • SEA ICE AND WEATHER FORECASTING
    Tools to Support Weather and Sea Ice-Sensitive Decision Making
    This project utilizes existing infrastructure, observations, and partnerships to develop a decision support tool that is tailored to the needs of emergency responders in the Arctic marine environment. The work builds on previous ADAC and partner-supported sea ice and weather research in the waters surrounding Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska, a sub region of the North Slope located on the north coast of Alaska between the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Through outreach and iterative project evaluation from stakeholders, the team will work to integrate critical Arctic forecasting products into the operations of the National Weather Service, the Alaska Sea Ice Program, and NOAA’s Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA), making information easily available to operators and a broader audience across Alaska and the Arctic.

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  • CubeSat Antenna Farm Experiment (CAFE)
    Exploring Enhancements to Arctic Communications and Domain Awareness using the ASF CubeSat Antenna Farm Experiment (CAFE)
    A new effort via direct USCG award, that partners ADAC and University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Satellite Facility to conduct cube satellite research in support of USCG Arctic Communications shortfall research via a Mobile CubeSat Command and Control (MC3) antenna system and radome at the Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) in Fairbanks, Alaska. Research will increase USCG knowledge on Arctic communications and viability of Cube satellites to improve maritime communication in Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

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