Retrieval of Ice Samples Using the Ice Drone.

Carlson, Daniel F., Pasma, Jonathan, Jacobsen, Mathias Edslev, Hansen, Mads Holm, Thomsen, Steffen, Lillethorup, Jeppe Pinholt, Tirsgaard, Frederik Sebastian, Flytkjær, Adam, Melvad, Claus, Laufer, Katja, Lund-Hansen, Lars Chresten, Meire, Lorenz and Rysgaard, Søren (2019) Retrieval of Ice Samples Using the Ice Drone. Open Access Frontiers in Earth Science, 7 (287). DOI 10.3389/feart.2019.00287.

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The ecological impacts of meltwater produced by icebergs and sea ice in the waters around Greenland are poorly understood, due in part to limited observations. Current field sampling methods are resource and labor-intensive, and not without significant risk. We developed a small, unoccupied, and robotic platform to retrieve ice samples, while simultaneously eliminating safety risks to scientists and their support infrastructure. The IceDrone consists of a modified commercial hexcopter that retrieves ice samples. We describe the design requirements, construction, and testing of the IceDrone. IceDrone's capabilities were validated in the laboratory and during a field test in January 2019 near Nuuk (southwest Greenland). IceDrone retrieved samples in hard and dry glacial ice in harsh winter conditions. The field test led to modifications in the drilling head design and drilling process that enable it to retrieve samples in thin sea ice. All design files and software are provided in an attempt to rapidly enhance our collective understanding of ice-ocean interactions while improving the safety and productivity of field sampling campaigns.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: iceberg; sea ice; sediment; nutrients; iron; drone; Greenland; glacier
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3389/feart.2019.00287
ISSN: 2296-6463
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2019 08:22
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:17

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