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Ocean Observation: Gliders, Buoys & Sub-Surface Networks

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systems. We’re not in the game of towing miles of towed arrays, which is what we used to do. So I think it’s entirely possible to build a fully functional, quiet-enough platform to do that work.

Alliance is fully ice capable, and that would be what I want for any replacement--because, really, it’s where we need to be, it’s where we need to operate. Our program next year, 70 percent of it is up in the Arctic.

I knew Alliance was a “global” classed ship, but I never thought that “global” meant “ice.” It’s something that hasn’t been exercised for a long time. We knew it was coming down the line, so we positioned ourselves to make sure that we were able to operate up there, and as a result, my phone often rings with people wanting to know if they can get up there with us.

Do you schedule your operations through UNOLS?

No, we don’t, but I maintain a direct link with the UNOLS executive secretary, and he’s on the scheduling committee, so whenever they have something coming up where they know they’re going to need an ice-capable ship, or they’re unable to meet it from the UNOLS pool, they’ll come to me.

Is it dif? cult to put another rider on your ship to conduct whatever experiment they want to do?

Not at all. We always try to accommodate them.

And scheduling-wise, you have to accommodate the needs of the Italian Navy.

That’s right.

Do the Italian sailors look upon Alliance as good duty?

They love the variety of it, and they love the ship itself, but as far as sea time goes, they tend to spend more time away than they would normally.

Are they required to do the day-to-day maintenance?

Yes, they are.

So what’s your message to the research commu- nity? “Open For Business.”

That’s right. We’re open for business. We’re out there and in the right part of the world, and they know the platform that we have to offer. The more programs we can get out there, the better it is for all of us.

And how about your message to the NATO na- tions?

We need continued support. We are trying to increase our customer diversity, but there are costs we won’t be able to re- cover just by customer funding through our NATO Programme of Work. The customer funding model is not a be-all and end-all for research, so we need look at all options for the future.

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