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Note to editors:
Have you ever wondered … about what’s going on under the ice?
The world’s oceans cover more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface and most of it still remains to be explored. Advances in robotics, battery technology, satellite based navigation and communications have led to the development of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). These vehicles are pre-programmed and operate on their own for hours, days and in some cases weeks.
In June, an autonomous underwater glider was launched at the mouth of the Jacobshavn Fiord in Northern Greenland. The glider flew between icebergs and returned with valuable information about the temperature and salinity of the water close to the glacier-fed fiord in an attempt to gain more insight into their melting process. In another experiment, the glider was modified to fly under an iceberg to obtain information about of the shape of the keel of the iceberg. Together, these projects will allow researchers to complete the next phase of their test – to fly for prolonged times under the ice in areas that are hard to gain access to, even with icebreakers.
Dr. Ralf Bachmayer is an associate research officer at National Research Council of Canada's Institute for Ocean Technology and an adjunct professor at Memorial University. He received his electrical engineering degree from the Technische Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1995 and his M.Sc. and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. He has worked as a visiting researcher at the Deep Submergence Laboratory of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and was an associate researcher at Princeton University’s Dynamical Control Systems Laboratory.
Join Dr. Bachmayer as he discusses his research in Northern Greenland and get the chance to see an underwater glider up close.
The event, hosted by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University and the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007, at 7:30 p.m., in the S. J. Carew Building lecture theatre, room EN-2006, on Memorial’s St. John’s campus.
Admission is free. Parking is available in Lot 16. All are welcome. Reception will follow.
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