Underwater Robotics and Polar Night Biology

Thursday, January 12, 2017 / Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, Norway

This January the Blueye PioneerOne was in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, (78°55 N) to be used in the course "Underwater Robotics and Polar Night Biology" arranged by the The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS).

The students were taught how to use modern robotics in marine research. Scientific topics we address are how life in the arctic are adapted to the low light conditions in the polar night. The effects of the rising global temperatures are evident in Svalbard and we see that Atlantic species often replace the Artic species.

Robotics vehicles from AUR-Lab at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Tallinn University of Technology International and Blueye Robotics were deployed to map and monitor both seabed habitats and water column.

Blueye diving to film the Artic kelp species Laminaria Solindongula and Blue mussels

Looking for new species in the arctic

Photo: Martin Ludvigsen

Blueye and another underwater vehicle diving to film the Artic kelp species Laminaria Solindongula and Blue mussels. Blue mussels were observed on Svalbard in 2004 for the first time in thousand year. A consequence of rising global temperatures.

Helmet Jellyfish (Periphylla periphylla)

Helmet Jellyfish (Periphylla periphylla)

First observation of the Helmet Jellyfish on Svalbard. Photo: Geir Johnsen
New discoveries were made by the students during their research in Ny-Ålesund. The Helmet Jellyfish (Periphylla periphylla) was observed for the first time in Svalbard.

As the temperature increases, the vehicles find species that are new in the Arctic.

Auk hunting in the Blueye light

Auk hunting

If you look closely there is a little bird in the picture. An Auk was interested in our underwater vehicles and used the light as an opportunity to hunt for krill and copepods. Tallinn University of Technology International

Underwater Robotics and Polar Night Biology

Watch a video from a week at Ny-Ålesund, where students learned how to use modern robotics in marine research. Scientific topics addressed where life in the polar night and the effects of rising global temperatures. Music: KABN - Svalbard