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2007 Arctic Seafloor Expedition

June 21, 2007

Explorers to use new robotic vehicles to hunt for life and hydrothermal vents on Arctic seafloor
Expedition will probe the Gakkel Ridge during cruise that begins on July 1

Scientists and engineers have just completed a successful test of
robotic underwater vehicles designed for use beneath the ice of the
Arctic Ocean. The research team will now use those vehicles to hunt for
life on the seafloor of the world’s most isolated ocean, departing on
July 1 for a six-week expedition on the icebreaker Oden to study the
Gakkel Ridge. WHOI researchers built two new autonomous underwater
vehicles and a new tethered, remotely operated sampling system
specifically for the challenges of Arctic operations.

A pre-cruise press briefing / teleconference was held at the Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institution on Thursday, June 21,

Slides from the presentation and an audio recording have been posted on this web site. Click here for the presentation materials and the recording.

The news briefing included:

  • Dr. Robert Reves-Sohn, Associate Scientist, WHOI Geology and Geophysics Department
  • Dr. Hanumant Singh, Associate Scientist, WHOI Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department
  • Dr. Timothy Shank, Associate Scientist, WHOI Biology Department

Support for the Gakkel Ridge expedition and for underwater vehicle
development has been provided by the National Science Foundation’s
Office of Polar Programs and Division of Ocean Sciences; the NASA
Astrobiology Program; and the Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and
Imaging Systems, an NSF Engineering Research Center.