CIRFA Newsletter 1-2016

Tromsø 15.02.2016

Dear Partners,

The sun has returned to Tromsø, and we are already in February.

The beginning of 2016 has been hectic, but very positive for CIRFA.

Contract and reporting: First, I want to congratulate all partners with the signed contract with the Research Council of Norway. The contract with RCN was signed on January 7th, after all partners had signed the consortium agreement. This means that CIRFA is legally up and running, with full speed.

Our first financial report was submitted on schedule on January 20th, and has been approved by RCN. Our financial officer says she is very satisfied with the way all partners responded and reported back. This is a good start.

New Personnel: It is also a pleasure to welcome all new employees. CIRFA has already hired many new persons:

WP1: Vegard Nilsen (PhD)

WP2: Wolfgang Dierking (Prof. 2), Johannes Lohse (PhD)

WP3: Stine Skrunes (Postdoc), Martine Espeseth (PhD), Alberto Arienzo (PhD)

WP5: Runa Skarbø (PhD), Sindre Fritzner (PhD)

WP6: Jean Negrel (Postdoc)

The new PhD students are currently busy in writing up their research projects in collaboration with their supervisors. Unfortunately, we still have not found a candidate for the PhD position related to WP 2 at NERSC.

Education: CIRFA organized its first Radar Remote Sensing course in the last week of January (see news item below for more info). More than 25 participants were all in all attending lectures, and among these, 8 students are seeking credits for the course. The students seeking credits will now be doing a project work, and conduct an oral exam in beginning of May.

Outreach & publications: Arctic Frontiers: CIRFA was presented at two side-events during Arctic Frontiers 2016. At the “Forskningsløft i Nord” side-event organized at The Edge Hotel on Tuesday January 26th, Torbjørn gave a brief presentation of CIRFA, and Rune Storvold gave a presentation of the RPAS activity at Norut. At the “Workshop on satellite data for Arctic research and applications” arranged by The Norwegian Space Centre (NSC) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Torbjørn also gave a brief presentation of CIRFA in his welcoming greeting, and Malin Johansson, UiT, gave a presentation entitled “Comparison of satellite radar data during the N-ICE campaign”, presenting first results from the analysis of multi-channel SAR-data of sea ice north of Svalbard.

We congratulate Martine Espeseth and co-authors, with the first accepted CIRFA journal paper. She already got the paper “Hybrid-Polarity and Reconstruction Methods for Sea Ice with L- and C-band SAR” accepted for publication in the journal Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters.

CIRFA will be present and giving presentations at the Arctic Science Summit Week and Arctic Observing Summit taking place in Fairbanks in March 12-18.

CIRFA will be well represented at ESA Living Planet in Prague in May 9-13. CIRFA-members are co-authors of 5 oral presentations and posters.

Our new papers and presentations will soon be available on our intranet webpage.

Future plans: CIRFA is planning a workshop focusing on WP 7 on March 2nd. This will be organized by KSAT, with participants from UiT, Norut, Spacetec, and potentially some external collaborators. The intention of this workshop is to define the work of WP7 in more detail, determine a processing line for CIRFA, and prepare a strategy for data handling and processing.

We plan to have a sea ice campaign in Ny-Ålesund between April 11-18, in which we will coordinate measurements with satellites, UAVs, a ground-based tomographic radar system, and various adequate in-situ measurements on the ground. These measurements will allow for detailed analysis of EM scattering in sea ice, as well as the integration of multi-sensor measurements. The campaign will be conducted in collaboration with University of Rennes, France, and will be co-funded with other several projects. The detailed funding-plan is not yet fixed. The data will be important for the work in WP2 and WP4.

We are also considering participating in the yearly Fram Strait organized by NP. The plans for this campaign are still under consideration.

CIRFA has decided to provide funding for additional drifters in the RETROSPCT (PRETROMAKS2 funded project) to enable more accurate in-situ measurements of met-ocean parameters in Vestfjorden. CIRFA will in addition collect satellite data, and the combined satellite-in-situ data will provide the data base for the PhD in WP1. It will also be used by WP5.

We are also planning a symposium for CIRFA’s young researchers (PhDs and Postdocs). The date for this event has not been fixed yet. This gathering will have discussion on scientific issues as well as having focus on complementary skills (like presentation skills, team work, outreach).

International collaboration: We are in the process of establishing collaboration agreements with DLR-Bremen, and National Research Council Canada (RNC-Canada). Drafts of agreements have already been exchanged, and we will have a physical meeting with RNC-Canada on February 23rd.

The above gives a brief update on what is going on in CIRFA. For your information, CIRFA will soon be moving from our offices in the Nofima building to new office space in Forskningsparken.


Best regards,

Torbjørn Eltoft