Have a look at these two images. They have something in common.
Both are related to my participation in the Arctic Ocean cruise in June. After the Nansen legacy cruise last year this will be my second scientific cruise to the Arctic with the Norwegian Polar Institute. And this time I’ve got extra tasks.
1. Drone flying
A scientist asked if I could fly a drone to map the ice stations. I didn’t have any experience in drone flying so I bought a private one to practise some weeks ago. In addition to that I made the Norwegian online course in drones (class A1 and A3) and the exam. Now I’m registered as a drone pilot in Norway, both in private and for the Norwegian Polar Institute. That was the easy part.
The interesting part starts when I shall take photos with latitude and longitude information from a drifting ice floe. But I’m not there yet (and quite happy that I have another month of preparation).
The drone photo above was taken in Norway. In Sweden it is a lot of paperwork to get permission for the publication of photos, especially when they show the sea as well. In Norway this is not the case, as long as you know the legal rules and restrictions.
2. Ice chart and weather info
To help both the cruise leader and the crew with planning it will be my job to provide them with current information. That’s ice charts coming from a SAR satellite and weather forecasts for e.g. wind, temperature and pressure. The data will be presented using the Open Source Geographic Information System QGIS. The screenshot above is just from a small learning session where I loaded in quite unrelated data as a topographical map of Svalbard, an ice chart from two days ago and current wind information.
The interesting thing will begin when we head north, leaving Svalbard behind. Then we do not have internet access anymore except sending and receiving emails through the slow and expensive Iridium network. So I cannot use all the cool QGIS plugins to gather data directly but I’ll have to send data requests per email and then receive the data later. This will be both interesting and challenging. I’m somewhere in the middle of being quite excited and pretty nervous.
Anyhow I wanted to have jobs and tasks and I’m glad I get the opportunity in a more active role than last year, were I was more like an observer. I guess, I’ll learn a lot.
Arctic Ocean, soon I’ll come!