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ITP50 Recovery Operations

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One year after deployment, ITP 50 surface package was found from the Russian icebreaker Rossiya behind a hummock and partially covered with snow.

(Sergey Pisarev)


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No wood remained from the pallet that the ITP surface package was deployed on -- probably consumed by the nearby hummock during ridging.

(Sergey Pisarev)


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When the tether was dug out of the snow, it was clear that the wire had been severed, and that the profiler would not be found.

(Sergey Pisarev)


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Digging out the buoy for transport of the remnants to the icebreaker. (Sergey Pisarev)


One year after deployment of ITP 50, the opportunity to visit and potentially recover the problematic system, occurred from the Russian nuclear icebreaker Rossiya, enroute to recovering the Russian North Pole-39 ice camp.  On September 17, 2012, the icebreaker was with 3.8 km of ITP 50 and the heavy Russian helicopter MI-8 started to search out the buoy. The helicopter team included chief pilot Jury Melnikov, second pilot Sergey Obuchovsky, and flight mechanic Sergey Chagin. (altogether from the helicopter company named “Karelia” that situated in the city “Petrozavodsk”). Three scientists of the expedition: Tomash Petrovsky (AARI), Anatoly Klein (AARI) and Sergey Pisarev (SIO), were on a board of helicopter as well.

The yellow conical flotation collar of ITP 50 was found 1.6 km away from the last buoy coordinates.  A hummocked ice ridge blocked the floatation from the view of the helicopter delaying the discovery.  The scientific group was to attach the slings to the surface floatation of the ITP and to prepare for recovery of the system from the icebreaker while the helicopter conducted other operations.

Photos taken by the scientific party just after helicopter flew away show the ITP cable covered by snow, a break of the cable just 1.5 m from where it attached to the surface electronics, and deformation of the hole through the flotation collar by the cable. The landscape of the ice floe was clearly different than when the ITP was deployed. The plywood pallet that was installed under the flotation was not found but likely was destroyed or carried away previously when the tether was severed.  The tether had been forcefully embedded into the foam collar, attesting to large forces operating on the surface package and wire, presumably during an ice rafting or ridging event. It was clear that the underwater package was long gone.  After one hour on the ice floe examining the site and preparing the surface package for transport, the helicopter returned to the site, picked up the scientific group and the remaining parts of ITP50 surface package. 



Last updated: September 21, 2017
 


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