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October 2001

Researchers to test new ALTEX AUV
in the Arctic Ocean 

MOSS LANDING, California— MBARI researchers have departed for the Arctic Circle to conduct a month-long program at sea to test a newly-designed autonomous underwater vehicle. 

The ALTEX AUV, its name derived from the Atlantic Layer Tracking Experiment, was designed to help scientists determine what happens to Atlantic water as it enters the Arctic Ocean. The ALTEX AUV is uniquely equipped with science sensors and an ice-buoy communication system that will allow it to gather data beneath the ice sheet and beam it back to researchers via satellite.

The MBARI team will be testing the sensors, ice-buoy operation, high-latitude navigation, and operational techniques during the mission which will take place aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breaker Healy in waters north of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.

MBARI's ALTEX AUV program is currently supported by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. The substantial MBARI participation has been supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Read the latest reports in the cruise logbook


Media Contact:
Debbie Meyer, ( 831) 775-1807,

Illustration by David Fierstein Copyright © 2001 MBARI