WP4: Development and testing of new technology and procedures for Arctic geoscience operations

Work package leaders: Asgeir J. Sørensen (NTNU) and Rolf B. Pedersen (UiB)
Contributions from: Tore Aunaas (SINTEF), Jørgen Berge (UiT), Kay Fjørtoft (SINTEF), Alfred Hanssen (UiT), Tor Arne Johansen (UiB), Geir Johnsen (NTNU), Alf G. Melbye (SINTEF), Martin Ludvigsen (NTNU), Sveinung Løset (NTNU), Roger Skjetne (NTNU)

The research will address development and testing of technology for the scientific missions of GoNorth, as well as support the field operations. The technology platform used will operate in an extreme environment in terms of temperature, weather depth and under ice operation.

The main tasks are:

  • Task 4.1: Ship operations in Arctic areas
  • Task 4.2: Underwater operations
  • Task 4.3: Well integrity and control
  • Task 4.4: Communication and navigation
  • Task 4.5. Environment
  • Task 4.6. Geophysical surveying methods
  • Task 4.7. Data management

The work package is supported by scientists in research groups from UiT, NTNU, SINTEF and UiB. The group has world-leading scientific track records and extensive operational experience with ship and underwater operations in northern areas including Arctic. The infrastructure includes ships, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), landers and sensors.


Operation of ships and equipment in the Arctic is challenging with respect to low temperature, ice, harsh weather with low visibility, remoteness, etc. The logistics is complex and costly. The base for the operation will be ice-going ships with appropriate ice class and/or supported by icebreakers. Operating in ice set strict requirements to the ship capabilities and systems for launch and recovery of equipment (Moonpool/Crane over board). The GoNorth underwater operations will involve the use of remotely and autonomously operated vehicles (ROV and AUV). Guidance, navigation and control of underwater vehicles are demanding. HSE as well as appropriate procedures for any rescue operation of human and equipment must be thoroughly planned and trained for. Besides, the environmental footprint should be kept to a minimum. The work package also includes methods and infrastructure for data analyses and data management.

Main objectives

Develop methodology and technology including test procedures for safe and efficient operation of ships and underwater equipment for seabed mapping and prospecting, including seismic, sampling and well testing in the Arctic. Different sites and procedures for testing and qualification of ROVs, AUVs and sensors systems will be developed at the premises at UiB (Bergen), NTNU/SINTEF (Trondheim) and UNIS (Svalbard). The testing and qualification will be performed in steps by dedicated tasks as well as embedded in other on-going field campaigns.