Having fully assessed the four proposals delivered to our Board, Commissioning Director Bradbury and peers have selected Proposal B for commission:

Arctic Vomer Anomaly Surveyor (ARVANS)
Key objectives are:
  • to explore anomalous weather patterns observed at approx 89.0000N, 17.1000W;
  • to characterise local atmosphere, and wider environmental landscape, specifically windstreams;
  • to determine factors contributing to acute storm localisation;
  • to map and observe evolving storm morphology over a period of six (6) months;
  • to build temperature map of storm exterior and surrounding atmosphere;
  • to sample atmospheric composition in and around storm, including normal atmosphere in this region, and at least one (1) sample within 5 KM of the storm’s edge.

Inability to achieve any of these objectives will result in mission failure.

The Board has also selected Proposal Extension B4 for commission:

ARVANS Automated Flythrough Drone Suite, constituting four (4) flythrough drones for detailed storm interior exploration.
Key objectives are:
  • to map interior morphology at multiple altitudes;
  • to sample interior composition at multiple altitudes;
  • to build temperature maps of storm interior.

The Board notes that Proposal Extension B4 was originally pitched as a set of secondary objectives. Commissioning Director Bradbury and peers have elected to raise these tasks to key objectives; however, owing to limited data on the anomaly, and the possibility that drones will not survive storm flythrough, non-completion of these objectives will not result in mission failure. Regardless, the Board does not anticipate complete inability to achieve any of these objectives.

The Board accepts the circumstances surrounding this proposal, and others, are sensitive. The previous attempt to explore and characterise the anomalous weather system was a failure: not on the merits of its science, but the presumed loss of life sustained when POSE issued its beacon and ceased communications. (POSE, the Polar Storm Explorer, was lost several months ago, shortly after its operating system detected a power surge. It remains unknown if this was due to close proximity to the storm, or an unrelated error. The Board remains deeply saddened by the team’s loss.)

Of this project, Commissioning Director Bradbury said: “I have utmost confidence in the ARVANS proposal, and the flythrough suite of drones we have also commissioned today. With the Arctic Vomer Anomaly Surveyor, I have no question in our ability to further understand Vomer’s peculiarities. Dr Matthew Schilling’s team is at the forefront of this widening of our knowledge, and he and his colleagues have the full support of my Board.”

Detailed schematics have now been delivered to the INDEMNITY’s manufacturing arms. The Arctic Vomer Anomaly Surveyor is expected to launch on 01-09 this year, and commence observations from 01-11, also this year.


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2011 - 2015
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