Aarhus University Seal

More cooperation between Arctic scientists and the Danish Defence

Danish Defence has expertise within oceanography, meteorology, hydrography and remote sensing

The Danish Defence operates in the Arctic throughout the year. Exchange of data and information between them and researchers benefits all involved parts. Photo: Defence Centre for Operational Oceanography.

Biology, chemistry, physics. These are traditional disciplines at universities, among them, at Arctic Research Centre at Aarhus University, where scientists have joined their forces to study the Arctic in an interdisciplinary manner.

But these are also vital disciplines for the Danish Defence, who operates in the Arctic both with ships, aircrafts and satellites.

Fisheries inspection, monitoring for oil spills, border control, search and rescue tasks, as well as support to local communities and authorities are examples of the support the Danish Defence carries out in Greenland and its surrounding waters.

To be able to operate under the extreme conditions of the Arctic, the Danish Defence has established an extensive expertise within oceanography, meteorology, hydrography and remote sensing.

They have also employed skilled developers, who can develop for example tactical decision aids for use when operating in the harsh Arctic environment.

“We are very interested in collaborating with scientists who collect data in remote areas or who wish to get access to data from such places”, says Charlotte Wiin Havsteen, Head of Defence Center for Operational Oceanography.

Charlotte Wiin Havsteen visited ARC on 4 April 2016 to discuss increased cooperation between researchers and the Danish Defence. Such collaboration would give a number of synergistic advantages. For instance, mutual access to data and exchange of information would benefit both parts.

The Defence operates in the Arctic throughout the year. It is fairly simple to install new sensors on ships or aircrafts and collect data which is difficult to obtain by other means. On the other hand, researchers have detailed knowledge on environmental conditions and processes, which can be useful in developing decision aids and forecasts. The Defence will soon launch a new patrol ship, which is equipped with sensors that Arctic researchers have requested. The Arctic provides both opportunities and challenges for all partners.