Remote Sensing

PI:Ron Lindsay

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Satellite observations of the experimental region offer a perspective that complements the field observations in several very significant ways. Observations of the ice concentration (IC) from passive microwave (PM) sensors can determine the existence, location, and size of any polynyas located near the observation area as well as the location of the ice edge. Past PM observations have shown the frequent existence of a region of relatively high ice concentration centered on Maud Rise (MR) with a changeable ring of lower ice concentration surrounding it (Figure 4). A large polynya has been observed to develop in some but not all years. (Martinson et al. 1981). In the period 1979 to 2002, only 1994 showed a large polynya near MR, to the northeast. If a large polynya does develop it is important for the scientists on the ship to know about its size and location as it happens, in near real time, so that operation plans on the ship can be adjusted to take advantage of the occurrence of the open water. We expect some of the highest areaaveraged surface heat flux values to occur in these polynyas. Both ship-based satellite receivers (AVHRR and OLS) and shore-based efforts will be needed. In addition, a key element for understanding the environment is to determine the divergence of the ice in the immediate vicinity of open water regions.