Marine technology used on glaciers Skip to content

Marine technology used on glaciers

By Iceland Review

Rescue services in Iceland are experimenting with a different type of technology to locate people lost on glaciers, a radar that is normally used for locating ships at sea.

The rescue services get dozens of calls every year reporting lost drivers of snowmobiles and jeeps, who were traveling on glaciers, and it is of vital importance to locate them as soon as possible. RÚV reports.

Vilhjálmur Árnason, the managing director of Sónar ehf., which specializes in sailing equipment, said: “Snow and water have many things in common. Both glaciers and the ocean have even surfaces, so vehicles are easy to locate [using the radar].”

Test runs on the glacier have proved successful. “We can locate jeeps at a two-kilometer distance and snowmobiles at a one-kilometer distance. That surpasses my expectations,” Árnason said.

Thór Thorsteinsson, a member of the rescue service Ok (which is also the name of a glacier that once existed in west Iceland), said: “Visibility on glaciers is often poor because of drifting snow or fog and people often get lost in that kind of weather. With this technology we can search a much bigger territory with one car.”

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