Background

Icebergs and ice islands represent significant hazards to marine navigation and offshore infrastructure at a time when demand for access to Canada’s Arctic waters is increasing.

There is a growing demand for in situ iceberg tracking data to monitor their drift trajectory and improve predictions of ice hazard occurrence and behaviour, yet the high cost of commercial tracking devices often prevents monitoring at optimal spatial and temporal resolutions.

Objective

The goal of this project is to determine if the Cryologger, a tracking beacon based on inexpensive, open-source hardware and software, can provide a reliable and cost-effective platform for monitoring the drift of icebergs and ice islands in the Canadian Arctic.

Design

The Cryologger is based on the open-source Arduino platform (www.arduino.cc) and built using low-cost, do-it-yourself electronics that can be easily modified to meet the needs of the end-user. Code was written using the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and benefits from the availability of community-generated libraries.

Planned for extended deployments in harsh Arctic conditions, the Cryologger can provide long-term measurements of GPS position, temperature, pressure, pitch, roll, tilt-compensated heading and battery voltage. Data are transmitted over the Iridium satellite network at specified intervals and can be remotely updated based on the desired sampling frequency.