Midshipmen to deploy buoys in Alaska

Parallel cloud bands converge at the horizon over a landscape of ice floes, melt pools, and a polynya to the right. August 19, 2009. Credit: Collection of Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon, Chief Scientist National Ice Center.

Parallel cloud bands converge at the horizon over a landscape of ice floes, melt pools, and a polynya to the right. August 19, 2009. Credit: Collection of Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon, Chief Scientist National Ice Center.

The Naval Academy says five midshipmen are heading to northern Alaska to study changing sea ice levels.

The academy says the midshipmen will be in Barrow, Alaska, on Friday to deploy two buoys they designed and built. The five will be in Alaska through Thursday.

The solar-powered buoys measure ice movement using GPS and also have cameras and a weather station that collects temperature, wind speed and humidity measurements. The bottom of one is also equipped with a hydrophone to collect sound data of ice movement.

Naval Academy Oceanography Instructor Lt. Cmdr. John Woods will lead the midshipmen during the field operation, in collaboration with the University of Delaware and the University of Washington.