Eavesdropping on an Arctic glacier? All in the name of science. Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego is spying on glaciers for a reason: to study the effects of climate change on sea-level rise. How do they do it? With the help of Photo Solutions’ highly customized encoder scales attached to an advanced hydroacoustic monitoring system

Photo Solutions Technology Enabling Safer Data Collection

Calving tidewater glaciers (a term for those pieces of ice that fall off into the ocean) is best measured remotely by underwater microphones and probes that capture the heat flux of a glacier or iceberg. These technological advancements are hugely beneficial for researchers needing to monitor climate change in remote or inaccessible areas where data collection is otherwise unachievable or unsafe. Hear a sample of what it sounds like

Measuring Ice Loss Changes Through Water Temperature

Polar scientists have many tools to measure ice loss through measurements, but none quite like encoder scales. Researchers can obtain accurate and real-time water temperature measurements at varying depths by deploying hydroacoustic probes equipped with Photo Solutions’ scales. These measurements help to establish the thermal profiles of glacier-fed bodies of water, allowing scientists to identify areas of increased melt or detect anomalies in trends or temperature.

Several equations are used in the field to measure ice loss through observations and measurements of water temperature, salinity, and velocity in front of the glacier on short timescales. 

Accurate Data Collection to Forecast Climate Change

Encoder scales provide crucial positional information and reliable data collection in remote areas that scientists cannot otherwise access. Calving glaciers sometimes form mini-tidal waves when they splash into the water, which makes studying them even more dangerous. 

Photo Solution’s encoder scales help scientists understand glacial melt through heat signatures gained from glacier-fed waters. They then use this environmental data to get a more accurate forecast of future climate change. Our oceans are a significant research frontier to gather this data, especially in the face of ongoing temperature changes happening in the Arctic.

Integration with Acoustic Monitoring Techniques 

Temperature data gained through encoder scales combined with the auditory data provided by underwater microphones helps scientists understand how fast the Arctic’s landscape is changing. Photo Solutions is leading the way with this innovative use of optoelectronics to fight climate change. 

Integrating with multiple types of technology gives researchers a comprehensive understanding of glacial systems by combining data on water temperature, heat loss, water flow patterns, and auditory observations.

Having multi-sensory information helps scientists create a more accurate picture of glacial retreat, making projections for the future and formulating effective climate mitigation strategies. Read more about the study and the encoder use here. 

Encoder Scales Empowering Tomorrow’s Climate Change Solutions

Encoder scales are indispensable tools in hydroacoustic monitoring of glacier melt, offering valuable insights into water temperature variations and heat loss. By facilitating accurate data collection, real-time monitoring, and long-term analysis, encoder scales contribute to our understanding of climate change and its impact on glacial systems. To learn more about Photo Solutions’ medical and scientific-grade encoder discs for emerging technology applications, contact our team for a quote.