Conducting Sea Ice Observations
One of the major accomplishments of ASPeCt since its inception in 1997 is the specification of a standard ice observation protocol for sea ice thickness observations made aboard ships in the Antarctic pack ice. This observation protocol provides a standardised and quantifiable method for observing sea ice that is now accepted as the international standard. Hence, ships entering the Antarctic pack ice zone at any time of year are encouraged to record sea ice observations and send them to a central data archive at the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre located in Hobart, Australia. Importantly, the results from these observations can be analysed using computer software that produces distributions of sea ice properties and thickness comparable to the output of numerical models, and therefore provides a highly detailed data set for comparison with model predictions of these parameters than is currently available from satellite products.