NATO Scientists Start Research Mission in the Arctic Sea

(Image credit: NATO)

Scientists and engineers from the NATO Science and Technology Organisation’s Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) arrived at the Norwegian port of Tromsø on June 5, 2024, to begin two combined research missions that will assess the impact of climate change in the Arctic. The results of their studies will help NATO adapt to global warming and Arctic environmental transformation.

On board the NATO research ship NRV Alliance, scientists will measure how the transformation of the Arctic affects sonar performance in the region. The data collected will help adapt the technology for submarines, uncrewed underwater vehicles and other capabilities operating in fast-changing Arctic Ocean conditions.

For the first time ever, the area of research will be the Barents Sea Polar front, a region where Atlantic and Arctic water masses meet but do not mix. With the research mission NREP 24 (Nordic Recognized Environmental Picture), scientists will focus on changes in sound propagation in the central Barents Sea. Another research mission, the ACO 24 (Arctic Climate Observatory) will collect of data related to long-term environmental conditions in the area, including marine biology, water movements and the soundscape. The missions be conducted from June 8 to July 12, 2024.

NREP 24 is a project funded by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) with the participation of partner institutions from France, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. ACO24 is funded by the NATO Science and Technology Organisation (STO)—Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) and will have partners from France, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Both research missions will be led by the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation. CMRE and partner staff on board NRV Alliance will be supported by a reach-back team working from various research institutions in Allied countries, performing analysis and processing of data.

NREP 24 is the latest iteration of a multi-year oceanographic research project that started in 2017 and has been conducted in different parts of the Arctic Ocean. ACO 24 is the second iteration of a study launched in 2023 as a long-term oceanographic research project.

The Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation is an executive body of the NATO Science and Technology Organisation. The Centre organizes and conducts scientific research and technology development and delivers innovative and field-tested solutions to address defense and security needs of the Alliance, with a focus on the maritime domain.

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