A laser under the ice

  • Eric pret a plonger avec capteur

José and Claudie are working for Takuvik, the research laboratory in Quebec for who we are doing a complete study of the bloom. They came for ten days with a prototype ice detector by laser polarimetry to test under the ice. Eventually, it will be used with ARGO floats in the Arctic. The system will provide the possible presence of surface ice to the float at a depth of 15-20 meters to stop its ascent and avoid contact. This development is part of the NAOS project and strengthens the French contribution to the ARGO mission, deploying 110 floats during the 2012-2019 period.

For now, it is to validate the system, and for that I'm diving and aiming with the laser, from 10m depth, thin ice, or thick ice, or ice free surface. My mask is equipped with laser protection lenses, and I feel like diving with sunglasses! The last dives are taking place near the boat, where thick snow on the ice is filtering most of day light. I do not see much, difficult to aim! José nevertheless seems satisfied with the results, and concluded that "experience in the field has provided important information for the optimization of the system!"

The usual work on the ice and in the lab continue during this time, more than ever: "That's it, the bloom is here!!! The purpose of the mission. Congratulations!", is telling us Marcel Babin, director of Takuvik, who is monitoring our results. Claudie also came to check the use of the CTD, and to learn how to do ice cores. Returning from the last station, we saw a polar bear on the ice near the shore of Broughton Island, on which he then climbed a steep and snowy slope. Fascinating.

Yesterday, my brother Paul (Piem) reached Ushuaia by bike. He left Barcelona 3 years and 2 months ago, he was on board Vagabond during our difficult crossing of the Atlantic in May and June 2011, at the beginning of his long journey. Since then he has lived many adventures and encounters! Never forgetting to look after this website, among others, being the webmaster.

A few days ago, as if to mark these events (coincidence?), my brother François and Cie La Batook presented to the public their new show: La Fille de l'Air!