Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC)
University of Alaska
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
The Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC), led by the University of Alaska Anchorage, develops and transitions technology solutions, innovative products, and educational programs to improve situational awareness and crisis response capabilities related to emerging maritime challenges posed by the dynamic Arctic environment.
Dr. Douglas Causey, Principal Investigator
Dr. Larry Hinzman, Research Director
Randy "Church" Kee, Maj Gen USAF (Ret), Executive Director
ADAC Research Areas:
Maritime Domain Awareness
Maritime Situational Awareness and Response Support
Maritime Technology Research
ADAC Annual Reports:
Current Research Projects
Theme 1 - Maritime Domain Awareness
PROJECT 1: Community Based Observer Networks for Situational Awareness (CBONS-SA)
This project will establish a community-based observing network and system (CBONS) to acquire fine scale, local data on a range of variables critical to USCG operations (Savo et al. 2016, Alessa et al. 2015). Variables will include those associated with environmental change, subsistence activities/habitats and vessel transits (see Figure 6). A systematic and quality assured CBONS will enhance the Coast Guard’s ability to successfully respond to Artic-related Incidents of National Significance (Arctic IONS). CBONS data may be used to enhance the preparedness of communities on the ground which can greatly increase the effectiveness of USCG in the Arctic while potentially reducing costs in the long term. The data will also generate community maps consisting of areas critical to culture and subsistence which will allow the Coast Guard to operate in ways that protect livelihoods and traditional lifeways. The data will eventually be transmitted via the Arctic Information Fusion Capability (AIFC) in order to promote safer SAR/HADR operations. Finally, the data may be used to enhance the precision of data from other Arctic Observing Networks (AON) by placing them in their social contexts.
PROJECT 2: High-Resolution Modeling of Arctic Sea Ice and Currents
This project will develop an accurate, High-resolution Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (HIOMAS) for modeling and predicting sea ice and currents in the Arctic Ocean. This system is to be calibrated and validated using a range of available sea ice and ocean observations and then used for (near) real-time hindcast and daily-to-seasonal forecast of Arctic Ocean currents, sea ice, and change.
Accurate, high-resolution predictions of ocean currents and sea ice conditions will enhance the Coast Guard’s ability to prepare for and respond to oil spills in the Arctic Ocean. The prediction data will also allow the Coast Guard to more safely and reliably conduct search and rescue missions. The data will eventually be transmitted to ship captains via the Automated Identification System (AIS) system in order to promote safer maritime transportation. Finally, the data may be used as forcing to drive other models such as wave models and oil spill models.
PROJECT 3: Arctic Oil Spill Modeling
The team will work to develop techniques to estimate the spreading of oil that has been released under ice (due to a well blow-out or due to a ruptured pipeline) or among ice (due to a ship grounding). For the under-ice oil release from a well blowout or a ruptured pipeline, the approach will involve coupling output from the oil plume model developed by Texas A&M University with simple analytical density current models to arrive at forecasts of oil spreading. For oil released near the surface, project team will adopt approaches derived from the research literature that are compatible with NOAA’s GNOME oil spill model (General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment).
The goal is to develop a tool to forecast the spreading of oil in the immediate aftermath of a spill event (i.e., within 24 or 48 hours of the spill), accounting for the character of the spill (e.g., well blowout or pipe rupture), the release rate or amount, and the environmental conditions (ice concentration, water depth, water velocity, salinity). The tool produced – referred to as the “Arctic Oil Spill Calculator” – will be housed in the Arctic Information Fusion Capability, and we will work to include it in NOAA’s Arctic ERMA program.
PROJECT 4: Identifying, Tracking and communicated Sea-Ice Hazards in an integrated Framework
The overarching objectives of this project are to identify, track and communicate hazards associated with ice in the ocean such as the entrapment of vessels; structural damage to vessels and infrastructure; risk to personnel and assets due to detachment of landfast ice; and the limitation of oil spill response. These objectives are directly motivated by input from USCG D-17 and review of USCG Arctic Information Needs workshop report. The proposed work addresses several of the 20 US MDA challenges identified by the USCG.
Our approach is two-pronged and involves 1) the development of technology to identify and track ice-related hazards; and 2) the creation of an Arctic MDA testbed located in Barrow, Alaska, to assess the value of available met-ice-ocean data streams and test strategies for effective communication in an Arctic emergency response setting.
The outcomes of this work will include i) the development of software products for deriving ice motion and deformation from land-based and ship-based radar platforms; ii) baseline coastal sea ice motion data for long-term hazard assessment and model validation; iii) assessment of a new satellite-based methodology for assessing ice stability and trafficability; iv) a leadership role in the development of an Arctic MDA testbed.
Theme 2: Maritime Technology Research
PROJECT 1: Arctic Infomation Fusion Capability
Arctic Information Fusion Capability (AIFC) seeks to support operational decision makers in the maritime domain ranging from operational commanders to tactical operators to community-based observers. AIFC strives to gain two dimensional geographic orientation of precision mapping data, near-real-time and high resolution satellite imagery incorporated with available modeling, sensors, web based communications and appropriate social networking feeds to gain domain awareness in support of operational decision making and interface with humans and responders in the field.
Further, AIFC will provide elements of domain awareness from a 3 dimensional “column view to gain insights vertically from seabed to surface and surface skyward. AIFC seeks to achieve a near- real-time and forecast decision support that can transition to intelligent decision support in a follow-on phase. AIFC near-real-time products will be delivered as rapidly as possible following capture and processing of the observation. In general, near-real-time is a qualitative descriptor. In the AIFC context it refers to products delivered between a few seconds up to 30 minutes following capture.
In Phase 1, AIFC will leverage and fuse existing sources, capabilities, and models to provide operational decision support. This includes visualization and mapping of sensor output, marine systems modeling, communications, appropriate social networking feeds, and other information required for Arctic maritime situational awareness. This also includes a deployable/field capability to support USCG emergency on-scene coordinators and community-based observations. In Phase 2, AIFC will transition to provide intelligent decision support and prototype the automatic control of sensors and robotic systems.
PROJECT 2: Low Cost Wireless Remote Sensors for Arctic Monitoring and Lifecycle Assessment
The project goal is to develop low-cost wireless sensors for use in remote monitoring, asset management, surveillance, and security, particularly in Arctic and marine environments. We categorize a sensor’s functionality into three areas: detection of an input event, computation of the detected event, and communication of the data. We develop an inexpensive, self-organizing network of devices that can reliably compute and communicate detected events. The computing device for each sensor node is the MoteineoR4 RFM69W. An integrated RFM69 transceiver enables wireless ISM band communications. A software simulator and hardware proof-of-concept consisting of a 7x7 array of nodes has been constructed. Our initial target application is to utilize acoustic and electromagnetic signal detectors to classify human vs. animal traffic in a remote area.
The concurrent phase of the project includes the evaluation of the lifecycle cost (LOC) for the deployed sensor array. The LOC framework will be applied to the monitoring of the US-Canada border for intrusions deployment scenario. Assessment will employ common techniques in life cycle assessment with focus on geospatial array structure associated with terrain and climate as well as overall power requirements, proximity to urban areas and the end-of-life considerations.
ASRC Federal Mission Solutions (AFMS) will identify, from the mission perspective, the systems involved in the Command and Control and Situational Awareness missions for multiple DHS projects, including USCG and Customs and Border Patrol. Using its experience as the USCG’s National Security Cutter C2/S2 system developer, AFMS will develop an integration strategy that will incorporate data from these sensors into tactical mission components for use by multiple echelons.
The team will initially use its open system architecture (OSA)- based C4 system for prototype component development and initial sensor integration and fusion. After initial integration of sensor data from both simulated and fielded sensors, the AFMS team will fuse the data into a tactical track picture and situational awareness display in order to prove the usefulness of the low-cost remote sensor approach for C2 and SA. The team will develop a set of decision aids to support events detected by the sensor network, including new contacts, lost contacts, indeterminate contact information requiring human-in-the-loop interpretation, as well as network readiness information.
PROJECT 3: Development of Propeller Driven Long Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (LRAUV) for Under-Ice Mapping of Oil Spills and Environmental Hazards
The increasing level of commercial marine activity in high latitudes creates an ever growing risk of oil spills. Even in logistically accessible, ice-clear oceans, characterizing the extent and nature of a spill can be difficult as the Deepwater Horizon incident highlighted. We propose to develop an AUV-based approach leveraging a small, long-range system developed by the PI, called the Tethys Long-Range AUV (LRAUV). The LRAUV is helicopter-portable, allowing rapid response to incidents to provide situational awareness for first responders.
Outcomes of this project will be construction of a small long-range AUV (LRAUV) equipped with oil sensors and navigation systems, demonstration of the LRAUV survey capability, and creation of a simulator for gaming AUV deployments for oil spills. The resulting capability to survey oil spills at high latitudes and under ice answers an unmet need for DHS and the USCG.
IONS WORKSHOP 21-22 June 2016
ADAC’s first Arctic-related Incidents of National Significance (IoNS) workshop gathered select Arctic skilled experts from U.S. and Canada as operators and researchers to address the operational challenges faced in conducting an Arctic region major rescue operation (MRO). The two-day workshop was held at UAA in late June and is intended to be the first of many accomplished on an approximate annual event cycle. The focus of this workshop was confronting the potential rescue and recovery of an adventure class cruise ship experiencing an emergency in Arctic waters while in remote and austere conditions.
help first responders save lives.
Integrated Education Outreach (and Worforce Development)
PROJECT 1: Arctic Education Implementing the Arctic Strategy in Training
This project includes three courses developed and submitted over three years. Years one and two have involved the construction of the Basic Ice Navigation course, which is complete and is currently being offered as a face-to-face class at Maine Maritime Academy. The course has been submitted to the Coast Guard for approval for Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) certification.
The Advanced Ice Navigation course had been pushed into upcoming program year because of the expanded scope of the basic class. It is in the development phase and we are currently working on building bridge simulations that will be a requirement for the course. In addition, the symposium that was planned for Year 2 will not be held in Year 3.
PROJECT 2: Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and Significant Minority Enrollment (SME)
For the coming program year, ADAC seeks to re-establish center initiative in recruiting student summer interns from under-represented classifications through collaborative partnerships with designated MSI and SME institutions. Further, ADAC seeks to leverage partnerships with established industry partners in order to place classifications of under-represented students on meaningful work to advance ADAC research. ADAC will develop and recruit these categories of students to place into Summer Internships that commence immediately following the completion of Spring Semester in 2017.
Additionally, in order to provide more opportunity, ADAC Center leadership will seek to connect these students, once recruited, into the ADAC Fellow Program to advance mentoring and professional development as previously described, to include gaining these students into DHS Career Development Grant Scholarships (as described under CDG Scholarship project).
PROJECT 3: DHS Career Development Grant (CDG)
An important goal of the Center is to foster the next generation of scientists and engineers devoted to the discovery, development and improvement of technologies and applications for Arctic Maritime Domain Awareness, Response, and Resilience. As originally presented by ADAC and approved by DHS S&T OUP, the Center proposes to award four scholarships annually for full time support for both undergraduate and graduate students who will contribute to an essential role for the center’s mission.
Accordingly, with this coming year’s program, ADAC seeks to attract the highest caliber undergraduate and graduate students that are contributing towards ADAC sponsored science and engineering programs. ADAC seeks CDG scholars to be the vanguard of the ADAC Fellows program, which will also include ADAC student researchers/interns in addition to CDG Scholars.
The Center intends to mentor and develop CDG students to be capable of competing for future opportunities in DHS and/or DHS enterprise careers. Center leadership will put a particular focus in connecting CDG students in applied areas of science and technology. Center leadership will also seek to provide CDG students opportunities to connect with research sponsored by DHS and/or USCG.
Consequently, Center leadership will seek to award CDG scholarships to qualified students who are seeking degrees from across academic disciplines related to: Advanced Data Analysis and Visualization, Communications and Interoperability, Community, Commerce, and Infrastructure Resilience, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Maritime and Port Security, Natural Disasters and Related Geophysical Studies, and Decision Sciences.
As described in Education Outreach and Workforce Development, ADAC will mentor CDG Scholars as part of the overall ADAC Fellows program over the course of the planned program year for student enrichment. In particular, events such as the planned Annual ADAC Student Research Symposium, summer interns and research needed in association with Incidents of National Significance Workshops, provide useful opportunities to incentivize CDG productiveness.
Master’s in Arctic Engineering degree program at the University of Alaska Anchorage and online course available to public. Courses support maritime workforce development.
Project Completion: Project concluded. ADAC will monitor courseware use for life of grant in support of tracking and workforce development initiatives.
DHS Science and Technology Showcase
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs and Stevens Institute of Technology hosted the Spring 2016 DHS Centers of Excellence (COE) Technology Showcase in Washinton DC to discuss pressing challenges and to develop new collaborations in support of DHS missions. On 19 May 2016, COEs gathered to demonstrate their center’s tools and technologies to operators and industry leaders. The showcase also offered COEs an opportunity to share knowledge and research while providing a chance to build relations with fellow COEs and future partners and collaborators. Reinforced connections and technological advancements presented in the showcase was advantageous for ADAC’s development and overall technology research opportunities. Dr. Lil Alessa, Mr. Leo Naboyshchikov, and Mr. Brian Conroy joined Executive Director Kee to provide information about ADAC projects and initiatives, to include the center’s “flagship” project, Arctic Information Fusion Capability, they demonstrated the hand-held Field Information Support Tool (FIST) that promotes situational awareness in Alaskan communities.
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Maine Maritime Academy
Texas A&M University
USCG Academy Center of Arctic Study and Policy
Univeristy of Alaska Anchorage
Univeristy of Alaska Fairbanks
Univeristy of Idaho
Univeristy of New Mexico
Univeristy of Texas, El Paso
Univeristy of Washinton
Woods Hole Institution
ASRC Federak Mission solutions
Alaska Ocean and Obervation System/ Axiom data Sciences
Dubay Business Solutions
Marine Exchange of Alaska
Nova Dine Kestrel Corporations
DHS Centers Excellence at Rutgers University, University of Houston, and Stevens University
In-Situ, A boeing Company
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
National Science Foundation