Our latest experiment employs an agricultural reservoir in Half Moon Bay to see if we can achieve the same remarkable results using our Ice-Aid material in a pond-sized environment. We are currently segmenting the pond and engineering new instrumentation to measure the water depth, temperature, evaporation, and reflectivity of our materials. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our mailing list for updates on Half Moon Bay!
Once we proved the effectiveness of our Ice-Aid material in the arctic, we decided to explore other potential applications of our materials. Once we realized the opportunity of using our material to preserve water in drought-stricken California, we began an all-weather experiment on small bodies of water at our lab in San Jose, CA. Our results were extremely promising, and left us wanting to find a larger reservoir to see if we could achieve the same remarkable results.
Ice911 worked with the local Native American population of Barrow, Alaska to identify the best possible testing site of its first Arctic test. Requirements for being so far North on the remote Alaskan terrain included employing a local polar bear guard! Once the site was identified, we segmented, set up our instrumentation, and ultimately found our Ice-Aid material to be extremely effective in preserving ice in the Arctic.
With every successive experiment, we learned the importance of containing the materials on the ice, which is why Ice911 painstakingly segmented the BEO pond in Minneapolis for its next experiment. This allowed the team to leave two quarters of the pond for testing two materials and two quarters as a control. In addition, we perfected our technique for distributing material over the ice and standardized our containment size for future experiments.
Serene Lake, CA served as a multi-year test bed close to San Jose, CA where Ice911 is based. Given that covering the ice with sheets was ruled out at Lake Miquelon, we began to experiment with bead-like materials placed over the ice and contained them with everything from PVC pipe to laundry bags. Overall, we learned valuable lessons about what data to collect and how to transmit information for remote monitoring.
With the help of a leading ice expert at University of Alberta, Edmonton and our CTO of instrumentation, Satish Chetty, Ice911 launched it's first quantitative experiment at Lake Miquelon. The experiment proved invaluable in teaching Ice911 members about the intricacies of field testing in snowy conditions. In addition, using sheets to cover ice was ruled out due to their susceptibility to wind.
Our first field test proved instrumental in validating the efficacy of using reflective materials to preserve ice. Using a scrappy approach that included hula hoops to hold reflective sheets over the ice, we found them effective, though susceptible to wind. In addition, we found low-density polyurethane to be effective, but not cheap enough for large-scale application.