US-Norwegian cooperation in ocean acoustics

Gaute HopePhD student Gaute Hope has spent the last month at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution at Cape Cod, U.S, to work on underwater acoustic communication signals and modeling. As a part of the UNDER-ICE: Arctic Ocean under melting ice project  a  scientific cruise was conducted to the Fram Strait and the Arctic Ocean in 2013. During this cruise a group of researchers from WHOI, Scripps Institution of oceanography and Nansen Center made an experiment where propagation of various underwater acoustic communication signals were studied in the Fram Strait. Acoustic signals were transmitted between station locations in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) and hundred kilometers into the ice pack. The goal was to obtain observations to study how the sea ice impact the acoustic signal propagation in the MIZ.

Gaute Hope is now visiting WHOI to finalize the processing of that data, learn from the US expert knowledge in underwater communication and to take advantage of the acoustic modeling community both at WHOI and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.

From Woods Hole, Gaute reports, that the visit is very useful for him. He is learning and get feedback from international experts on both acoustic propagation modelling and developers of underwater communication equipment. Getting this kind of valuable feedback is crucial in making his work relevant and learning about the state of the art in acoustic communication  in ice covered waters.

The ultimate goal of for acoustic communication in the Arctic is to be able to reliably communicate wirelessly underneath the sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean, where the sea-ice cover blocks access to radio waves and GPS signals. His PhD studies is working towards that by focusing on the effect of different sea-ice conditions on acoustic signals used for underwater communication.

The PhD studies is supported by NERSC and the Office of Naval Research Global. His visit to WHOI is also supported by WHOI and through the Research Council of Norway ResClim program.