University of Alaska Fairbanks • Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation • United States Navy
What is ICEX?
The United States Navy's ICEX, or Ice Exercise, is a biennial exercise conducted above the Arctic Circle in cooperation with other branches of the military, government agencies, allied partners, private organizations, and academic institutions.
ICEX provides submarines the opportunity to train in an operationally demanding and challenging environment, as well as an opportunity for scientific studies on ice thickness and the environment.
Video courtesy United States Navy
How UAF assists ICEX
UAF personnel assist Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation's support of ICEX by contributing a team of specialized subject matter experts (SMEs) in fields related to drifting sea ice camps.
The UAF off-ice decision support team is comprised of experts in sea ice mechanics and dynamics with decades of on-ice experience in the Alaska Beaufort Sea, including ice camps dating back to 1991. Expertise includes:
physics of drifting sea ice
remote ice-based field operations
advanced analysis of satellite data
weather and climate forecasting
UAF personnel follow a scenario-based approach to continuously assess the relative level of risk of certain hazards throughout the planning and operation phases. This involves analysis and synthesis of satellite data and a range of seasonal to weekly forecasts of variables such first year sea ice thickness, sea ice drift and storm activity.
UAF personnel take part in planning meetings prior to field operations and participate in reconnaissance flights to select the ice floe for the drifting ice camp. During camp operations, an SME is physically present at the camp and maintains situation awareness through regular communication with the decision support team at UAF.
Ice Support Scientist & Drifting Ice Camp SMEs
Joshua Jones, UAF International Arctic Research Center
Andy Mahoney (PI), UAF Geophysical Institute
Jackie Richter-Menge, UAF Institute of Northern Engineering
Off-Ice Decision Support Team
Uma Bhatt, UAF International Arctic Research Center
Hajo Eicken, UAF International Arctic Research Center
John Walsh, UAF International Arctic Research Center
Data Analysis & Forecast Support
Tom Ballinger, UAF International Arctic Research Center
Brian Brettschneider, UAF International Arctic Research Center
Lew Shapiro, UAF Geophysical Institute
During the day, usually in minus 25- to minus 45-degree temperatures, the team worked collecting ice thickness and snow character data in support of their NRL Sea Ice Physics research. Coincident airborne sensor data was also collected over the ground team’s work sites. (Photo: CS2 Tyler Thompson/Navy)