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ITP 3 Recovery Attempt

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A little more than one year later (September 9, 2006), ITP3 and IMB 07950 were found still intact on their tiny ice floe covered nearly completely by melt ponds.

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The IMB transmissions were inhibited because the antenna was partially underwater.  This was rectified.  Sitting in the melt pond, the ITP could not be recovered from the ice with the equipment on hand.  Instead a float was attached to the buoy and the ship would attempt to break the buoy out of the ice floe.

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The great icebreaker Louis St. Laurent was expertly maneuvered to crack the 2.5 m thick ice floe just next to the ITP buoy.

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Only half a meter of ice separates the buoy from the open water.

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In the end, the ice would not give up the ITP, and the IMB was left to continue its observations.

The following summer, during JWACS 2006, an attempt was made to recover ITP, but failed.  On September 10, 2006, ITP3 and IMB 07950 were located.  The IMB was still partially operating, but the ITP profiler (having obtained over 1500 profiles) would soon expire its battery, so recovery was desirable.  Unfortunately the conditions of the ice floe (small, with extensive melt ponds connected to the ocean) prevented a recovery with the ITP winch system.  Instead the icebreaker attempted to break the ice floe to release the buoy into open water where it could be recovered over the side of the ship.  Unfortunately, though small in size, the icefloe was still 2.5-3 m thick and did not crack along the ITP wire.  Recovery attempts were terminated after the ITP surface package was damaged and stopped operating, but while the IMB continued to still partially operate, rather than jeopardize the integrity of the IMB.

More information and photos on the recovery attempt are available at:

Last updated: September 21, 2017

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