We work to ensure we’re obtaining the highest quality data from our lake ice test site. Our process includes monitoring capabilities that allow us to collect measurements for comparing test areas with Ice911’s reflective microspheres to untreated areas. When we’re not physically in the Arctic, we’re able to collect our measurements remotely from buoys, a drone, and satellite monitoring.
Our Arctic test site would not be complete without advanced monitoring to collect data on our material’s effectiveness. Since 2010, we've designed our own monitoring buoys to match state-of-the-art buoys currently on the market.
Our latest buoy, SIMB3, takes reflectivity, the temperature throughout the water column, and visual measurements and transmits the data wirelessly to our lab in California, USA. This season (thanks to your donations!), we were able to purchase a top-of-the-line monitoring buoy and place it alongside our own at our Arctic test site. This buoy addition will ensure we have an extremely robust data set on this season's deployment..
Meet Maverick, our test site monitoring drone. During the melt, we plod through melting Arctic tundra to our test site and fly Maverick over our test areas. Taking photos at set heights above our experiment and control (where no material is placed) areas, we then run the photos through an image processing algorithm that approximates and compares their reflectivity. So far, we've seen that all areas where material is applied are significantly brighter than areas where it was not.
Advances in satellite sensing have unlocked the opportunity to get high-resolution aerial images of our test site, even in cloud cover.
Traditionally-accessible satellites rarely point toward the Arctic and can't get through the frequent cloud cover to provide consistent, reliable data on material effectiveness. However, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite monitoring allows us to gather reflectivity data at our test site by employing radar sensing instead of traditional photography.
This option will allow for the capture of ice reflectivity data at scale without the need for terrestrial buoys.