Events September 2021 OES Beacon

Antarctic and Southern Ocean Forum – ASOF 2021 Workshop Summary

Andreas Marouchos – Chair, Polar Oceans Technology Committee

Figure 1: Jamie Jacobson from the University of Cape Town presenting his work on the development of SHARC-BUOY for in-situ sensing from the marginal ice zone.

On August 5-6th the Polar Ocean Technology Committee hosted the third polar technology workshop–the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Forum. This workshop, which focused on “Addressing Polar technology challenges for the coming decade,” was initially planned in 2020 but delayed due to COVID. The event was held virtually and hosted 22 talks with over 120 attendees to discuss a range of topics from autonomous systems to cubesats. Most notably, the event was used as the opportunity to introduce the new Centre for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Technology (CAST, www.cast-collaboration.org.au ). This new centre will bring together agencies from Australia and beyond to share technical expertise and capabilities to help tackle some of the most challenging problems faced in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science. This workshop was also particularly well timed with the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science (en.unesco.org/ocean-decade), with many agencies looking towards planning and coordination of UNDOS activities in the coming years. Finally, from an Australian perspective, it was great to hear the latest updates on the completion and delivery of Australia’s new ice-breaker, the RSV Nuyina. The new vessel is capable of enabling new and exciting science and the technical community is excited at the opportunities to further extend the reach of Antarctic observations. Looking ahead, the POTC will be looking to host the next workshop in the 2022/2023 timeframe somewhere in the northern hemisphere and hopefully in person! More info on the POTC and its activities can be found on our website:  polaroceans.org/