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ITP 8 Recovery Operations

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ITP 8 is finally located after a 3 hour helicopter search (and only minutes away from ending the search). Photo by Rick Krishfield. 

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Brian Hogue manipulates a hose that supplies hot water to a 36” drill ring used to melt through the icefloe containing ITP 8. Photo by Rick Krishfield.

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After the hot water melter creates a 36” ice core around the ITP, the unit is hoisted, and the ice is removed by Kris Newhall using a chainsaw. Photo by Rick Krishfield.

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ITP 8 profiler is hauled to the surface through the ice hole.   The unit is inverted, dirty, and tangled in the wire, apparently due to contact with shallow ocean topography.  Photo by Rick Krishfield.

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A close up of the wire tangle around the inductive modem.  Surprisingly, despite the snarl, the instrument continued to ring the surface unit after every attempted profile, although a problem with the surface unit modem electronics prevented the transfer of data. Photo by Rick Krishfield.

During its second year after deployment, the inductive modem on ITP 8 apparently failed, although the profiler continued to ring the surface package after every scheduled profile.  Consequently, there was great interest in recovering the unit to retrieve the information stored in the underwater unit.  Early on October 3, 2009, a helicopter reconnaissance successfully found the surface package only minutes away from ceasing the search.

An hour later, a team and apparatus arrived on the ice floe to begin the recovery operation.   A hot water drill ring apparatus was used to cut a 36” ice core around the buoy, which was removed from the buoy tether with a chainsaw.  The tether wire was hauled using a portable hydraulic block until the profiler arrived at the surface tangled in the wire, and upside down.  Mud and scratches on the profiler indicated that it had dragged on shallow topography (presumably in the Chukchi region according to the drift track).  

After the 4.5 hour recovery operation, ITP 8 was transported back to the ship and ITP 32 was deployed in the same hole.  Later on the ship, the much anticipated missing data were retrieved from the profiler on ITP 8.

More information and photos on the recovery operation are also available at:

Last updated: September 21, 2017

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