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How to Stop an Iceberg in Its Tracks

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Icebergs in Greenland

With a small ocean robot, Northeastern researchers produced high-resolution models of icebergs in Sermilik Fjord, Greenland.

Credit: Hanumant Singh

Northeastern University researchers used a small robot to generate detailed three-dimensional maps of icebergs in Greenland's Sermilik Fjord, to gain insights on how fast they are melting in response to climate change.

A key challenge for Northeastern's Hanumant Singh was measuring massive chunks of ice in constant motion, which required the robot's algorithms to mathematically "freeze" the icebergs. The robot is basically a camera and sonar sensor mounted on a gas-powered kayak, capturing raw images of the above-water sections of iceberg. The robot uses these images to navigate around the iceberg and help the sonar measure the submerged ice.

Singh said Northeastern oceanographers will use these measurements "to actually make models of what's happening to the freshwater, how these icebergs are melting, and how that's being affected by climate change."

From News@Northeastern
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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