SIDEx: Sea Ice Dynamic Experiment

Haystack technician Ken Wilson with a SIDEx buoy prototype
Haystack technician Ken Wilson with a SIDEx buoy prototype (taking all necessary safety precautions in 2020!)

Changes in Arctic sea ice are essential for navigation and studies of climate change—but notoriously difficult to predict.

The Sea Ice Dynamic Experiment (SIDEx) project is helping scientists at Haystack and elsewhere better understand the dynamics of Arctic sea ice and improve predictions of how the ice will deform or crack in response to changes in the atmosphere and sea levels that cause stress and strain on the ice.

The project will combine remote sensors and platforms in Alaska to measure very finely the behavior of different types of sea ice under a variety of conditions. The data will models that forecast changes in the Arctic ice. Remote sensing is safer and more affordable than stationing scientists on the ice for long periods of time.

MIT Haystack Observatory is a partner in SIDEx with U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (ERDC-CRREL), Oregon State University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, and Dartmouth College.

Haystack team members