The sea service is analyzing research findings from efforts to deploy underwater drones such as the Seaglider beneath the ice in the Arctic Ocean to assess how quickly the ice is melting and better understand how soon the U.S. and Russia will be competing for new strategic waterways in the region.
The drones had been measuring temperature and salt content to help scientists develop more accurate computer models with which to predict the anticipated future pace of melting ice, according to Martin Jeffries, science adviser to the Office of Naval Research, or ONR.
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An oceanographer from the Naval Oceanographic Office establishes a satellite connection to the Glider Operations Center at NAVOCEANO before launching the seaglider unmanned underwater vessel from the Military Sealift Command oceanographic survey ship USNS Henson on March 24, 2010. (Photo by Lily Daniels/U.S. Navy)