ARMADA logo ARMADA Project -- Research and Mentoring Experiences for Teachers National Science Foundation logo


Journals 2007/2008

Kathy Couchon
Narragansett High School, Narragansett, RI

"AUV Engineering Trial in Fram Strait in Support of the Gakkel Ridge Expedition"
Icebreaker ODEN
May 27 - June 7, 2007
Journal Index:
May 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31
June 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

Additional Resources

May 28, 2007
Tromsö, Norway

Latitude/Longitude: 690° 39' N, 180° 56' E
Temperature: 6°C

Today was the first day that some tangible AGAVE science took place onboard Oden. The scientists put one of the AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles), the one named JAGUAR, into the water off the dock here in Tromsö and ran it through some tests. It remained tethered to a small boat during the test run. The AUV team took advantage of our docked location to test that JAGUAR's sensors worked and that it could follow directives to find its way back to the ship. This will be especially important when it is deployed under the ice, because it will not be able to surface as it would normally do in open water. There was much excitement on the deck as cruise members watched and photographed the first of what will be many "test runs" on this "test cruise".

The ship got underway shortly after noontime and we were accompanied out of the port of Tromsö and for a time by the Pilot. Once we were almost out of the fjords, the Pilot was picked up by his boat and returned to Tromsö.

Tonight after dinner began the Evening Science Meetings. This is traditionally a time for the scientists from varied disciplines to share their individual research projects with other members of the science team and the crew. These meetings are usually well-attended and a chance for all to learn a little something new and gain some insight into the research.

This meeting was a "meet and greet" where all had a chance to introduce themselves. We have aboard an international science team hailing from the USA, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Japan. Others aboard include members of the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, the organization that handles the logistics of this cruise, and a mostly Swedish ship crew. The education "team" is made up of me, along with a German teacher and a retired Swedish educator. One of the announcements made at the meeting involved the German teacher and me. We have been assigned to work with a small team of scientists on a particular project so that we can get first-hand information on the research process. As the research gets underway there will be much to report about our experiences.

Before I head to my bunk, I take a short last trip to the bridge. After watching some whales blow in the distance off the port side and later some unidentified dolphins leap on the starboard side, I retire.

The AUV, JAGUAR, is launched over the side of Icebreaker Oden for a test run.
The tethered AUV, JAGUAR, is given a test run.
Leaving Tromsö via the fjords