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The Re-Icing Devices 

We foresee the water pumping system for large scale operations to be delivered as a medium size (100-200 kg) automated underwater vehicle (AUV) with sophisticated electronics on board and a hydrogen fuel cell energy system. 

Re-icing AUV’s will receive high level planning instructions in terms of objectives to achieve over a period of time, including area to cover, ice thickness to achieve or amount of snow to build. Objectives can change dynamically based on progress.

 

AUV’s will relocate automatically, find the best position to drill a hole in the ice, emerge to expose the output pipe to displace sea water, and anchor themselves on top of the sea ice surface, for stability.

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Figure: Summary of current idea for large-scale 'AquaFreezing' approach presenting an example of the activities proposed to restore and preserve Arctic sea ice.  For a detailed description check out 'Our Plan'. 
 

Depending on the function (ice making or snow making) and on the ice conditions (e.g., how well water spreads in the area), they will remain in position from a few hours to a few days.

An electric battery is used by the onboard electronics, the motor and the water pump, and is recharged by a hydrogen cylinder via fuel cell, when required. Hydrogen cylinders, in simpler AUVs will approach the Re-icing AUV, dock to it, and reload the main hydrogen cylinder, before they undock and go back to the energy hub.

In case of necessity, a re-icing AUV can go back to the hub to refuel independently, or can place itself in low-energy standby mode, communicating its position and halting all other operations.
 

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Figure: Further look into 'AquaFreezing' process. Start & End of Winter processes performed by Real Ice AUV's for large scale restoration of Arctic sea ice. 
 

The comms unit will allow interoperability with the energy hub and with hydrogen AUV’s. There will be regular communication on position, energy and progress with plans. This will also allow central operations to intervene in case of malfunction or low performance.

A sophisticated AI-driven system will be used to handle a good portion of the decision making, especially when they are based on complex observations on the nature of sea ice and snow, or on exceptional conditions and unexpected events.
 

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