SPRITE is the project's Surface Penetrating Radar for Ice Thickness Establishment.

Ice and Snow

Essentially SPRITE comprises a portable, ice-penetrating impulse radar. At just 4kg in weight it is lighter than previous systems that traditionally have been attached to aircraft.

SPRITE will be mounted behind the survey’s sledge-boat effectively converting the traditional sledge into a small survey vessel, as part of a high-profile, high-resolution surface survey of the ice.

High-resolution cross-profiles of the snow and ice will be gathered every 10cm along the 1,000-km survey route. The raw data will then be processed by SPRITE’s own computer, before being transferred across to the central on-board sledge computer for compression, and then up-linked, via the Iridium satellites back to the survey’s UK Headquarters.

It will then be re-formatted and distributed to our Science Partners.

By differentiating between snow and ice layers the radar can provide data on the thickness of the sea ice. From here, scientists are then in a position to model with greater accuracy when the Arctic Ocean will first be ice-free in summer.

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Sprite gallery, photos of team and expedition.

"Technology" Blog Posts
The Polar Woodpecker
Posted by Dominic Hilton
Manual drilling takes CAS expedition leader Pen Hadow approximately four hours a day. He’s developed a routine of heading out from the tent in the early evening......more
Thursday, 16th April 2009
Team turns to traditional survey methods as technology battles force of nature
Posted by Dominic Hilton
The Catlin Arctic Survey has now released its first set of ice and snow thickness measurements, showing the floating sea ice cover it has travelled over in the early stage is predominantly new ice......more
Wednesday, 15th April 2009
Muscle Immobilisation
Posted by Dr Craig McLean
The effects of lying on your back inside a frozen tent for 5 days awaiting resupply has grave effects on mental and physical wellbeing....more
Saturday, 21st March 2009
Perran on Power Supplies for the expedition
Posted by Perran Newman
Traditional polar expeditions have a modest power requirement that is usually met using a combination of primary (non rechargeable) Lithium batteries and seconday batteries recharged.....more
Friday, 20th March 2009
Chivalry on the ice
Posted by Ann Daniels
Before the re-supply, all I could think of was The Re-Supply. Now that it’s been and gone of course, my mind is onto the next thing!...more
Friday, 20th March 2009
Department for International Development Conference
Posted by Rod Macrae
Today Pen addressed the DFID conference on development and was interviewed by satellite phone live from the ice by the Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander....more
Monday, 09th March 2009
And they are off
Posted by Ian Wesley
A big day today and spirits were high. After a prolonged packing session the Ice Team are out on the ice for their first mini expedition together. They left with sleds packed high and bristling with antennas....more
Friday, 16th January 2009

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