New ways to collect data in the Antarctic



Conducting Antarctic research is challenging. Not only is the environment difficult, given low temperatures, high winds, and ice cover, but also the availability of sampling platforms is limited. The U.S. National Science Foundation has only two vessels that can routinely operate in ice-covered waters, the research vessel/icebreaker N.B. Palmer and the Antarctic research support vessel L.M. Gould. The restricted availability of vessels makes research operations difficult to schedule, especially during austral spring and summer. Traditional sampling methods (those confined to ships and moorings) have provided insights into distributions and processes in the Southern Ocean, but new research questions require new sampling means.