New collaborative center between oceanographers and Canadian military at Dartmouth

A new $25 million marine research center opened Monday in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to coordinate the sophisticated underwater platforms used by Canada to collect ocean data.

The Intelligent Marine Systems Facility brings together researchers from Fisheries and Oceans, Natural Resources Canada and Defense Research and Development Canada in one location.

These researchers will lead the way in testing new systems to observe Canada’s marine environmentdeclared the member for Dartmouth, Darren Fisherduring the official opening of the facility.

They will have an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate, share ideas, tools and infrastructure and it will certainly benefit everyone involved.

The three federal ministries use unmanned gliders and remotely controlled vehicles for their own purposes: the DFO for monitoring ocean conditions, the military for listening to friends and adversaries, and Natural Resources for mapping the seafloor.

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This slocum glider, which is used for ocean monitoring, was on display at the official opening of the Intelligent Marine Systems Facility at Dartmouth.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Robert Short

The new research center, located at the Oceanographic Institute of Bedford, aims to use devices more efficiently.

We can put sensors there, measure the ocean as well as, for example, acoustic sensors that listen to things that are in the ocean, whether it’s whales, ships or other sound sourcessaid the scientist Clark Richardsphysical oceanographer at Fisheries and Oceans.

The installation is not security classified, although some of the sensors used by the Canadian Forces and the data collected may be restricted.

Rear Admiral Josée Kurtz, Commander, Maritime Forces Atlantic, said the focus is on seabed mapping from our own backyard as climate change makes the Arctic more and more accessible.

DFO and Natural Resources Canada so that we can continue to monitor this environment and understand it a little better “,”text”:”It’s really important to collaborate with DFO and Natural Resources Canada so that we can continue to monitor this environment and understand it a little better “}}”>It is really important to collaborate with the DFO and Natural Resources Canada so that we can continue to monitor this environment and understand it a little better she said.

So that when we, the navy, go north to establish our presence to defend our sovereignty, we can do it with the best technology possible.

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Rear Admiral Josée Kurtz believes the center will help Canada better defend the Arctic.

Photo: Facebook/Josée Kurtz

Working with Defense Research and Development Canada by taking measurements in the Arctic will help understand what’s happening far to the south on Canada’s east coast, Clark Richards said.

Outflow from the Arctic Ocean discharges into Baffin Bay along the Labrador coast, around the Grand Banks and onto the Scotian Shelf.

These changing conditions in the Arctic are impacting regions further downstream. What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic he recalled.

We’re seeing this more and more as we see less ice. This means more fresh water. This fresh water is transported, but it is difficult to know where it is going unless you are there often enough to make these measurements.

With reporting from CBC’s Paul Withers

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