Arctic Frontiers Science

Theme 3: Disruptive technologies

New technologies have the power to change the way we think, the way we live and perform, and have proven to path the way for new concepts and businesses. Since the first digital products were developed, digitalization has leapt forward and we are now facing a step-change in performance and utilization of digital products in research, businesses and society.

Arctic Frontiers 2020 invites speakers addressing “disruptive technologies” developed and/or applied for the Arctic. We are looking forward to contributions focusing on one or several of the following topics:


Arctic Frontiers invite speakers that address digital transformations that support the transition towards more fully digitalized industries based on integrating technologies such as Internet of Things, Big Data and Cloud computing. We would like to welcome presentations addressing digital twins, simulations and modelling that directly or in-directly support the sustainable development of Arctic societies and industrial developments.

Telecommunication in Arctic

Arctic frontiers invite speakers addressing telecommunication challenges and solutions for the arctic region. Geostationary communication satellites do not cover the Arctic region well. They are difficult to use between 70 to 80 degrees latitude, and become unusable above 80 degrees latitude. Both dedicated Arctic communication solutions as the proposed Norwegian satellites in high elliptical orbits and new communication satellite constellations with thousands of satellites also covering the Arctic are planned. This will revolutionize telecommunications solutions for the Arctic, how we operate and the communication equipment we use. 

Autonomy (mobile platforms)

Autonomy is an emerging trend in the marine domain in the time to come and is believed to be essential for an oil and gas industry as well as ocean science requiring cost reduction by more efficient concepts.  Arctic Frontiers welcomes presentations addressing research performed for the area of control, guidance algorithms and mission management for unmanned vehicles and methodologies and research enabling the development of smarter vehicles capable of reaching higher levels of decision autonomy while maintaining operational robustness. This includes technology for dealing with the harsh Arctic environment, such as low temperature, high winds, icing conditions, and lack of supporting infrastructure.

Arctic Frontiers also welcomes speakers addressing relevant research that includes focus on mesh network architectures for communication between heterogeneous vehicle systems and sensor networks, capable of handling degraded and time-varying radio and hydroacoustic communication channels in the context of delay tolerant networking. We would like invited speakers to address new methods for multi-vehicle distributed mission and path planning, using optimization and heuristic search methods in combination with sensory and estimation information, terrain models, and simulations of vehicles and communication channel losses accompanied by new architectures and algorithms for fault-tolerant and intelligent command execution in autonomous unmanned vehicles, including obstacle avoidance and re-configurable control.

Navigation remains a major limitation and challenge for most underwater operation and autonomous operation specifically. Due to the attenuation of electromagnetic waves in seawater, terrestrial systems like GNSS does not penetrate the ocean. Acoustic means like range measurements, phase derived bearing measurements, and dead reckoning derived from inertial and Doppler measurements and lately visual based close-range position estimation are the most important tools for navigation. This is a rich field of research and Arctic Frontiers welcomes speakers addressing novel research and development in this area. 


Sensors are of fundamental importance in all aspects of marine and maritime observations and operation. Norway has word-class research and industry on a wide range of marine sensors, with applications ranging from oceanography and the natural sciences to important industries like aquaculture and offshore oil-and-gas. We would like to welcome presentations addressing novel concepts on underwater acoustic mapping and measurements (sonar, navigation, identification etc), optical measurements (fluorescence, spectroscopy, hyperspectral imaging, range-gated imaging, etc) and applications of chemical sensors and sensor fusions, together with newer concepts like biosensors in the Arctic.

Integrated monitoring, modelling and decision support

Research and technology development reflect a shift from retro-perspective to pro-active monitoring as observation techniques and numerical modelling mature. The potential of integrating observation systems (i.e. autonomous sensor platforms such as unmanned aerial, surface and underwater vehicles in combination with satellite remote sensing, buoys and seabed infrastructure) in a marine industrial infrastructure opens for real time or near real time observations, providing high-resolution temporal and spatial information, required for informed decision-making process in the Arctic. Arctic Frontiers welcomes speakers addressing development and applications that combine such observations with numerical models enabling extrapolation and forecasting of environmental impact in a relevant influence area that could open for significant improvements in environmental management.

Scientific committee

  • Morten Dalsmo, SINTEF Digital, Norway (co-lead)
  • Harry R. Kolar, IBM Research, USA (co-lead)
  • Kjell A. Høgda, NORCE, Norway
  • Tor Arne Johansen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Oddvar Vermedal, COO Digital Center of Excellence, Equinor, Norway
  • Mats Carlin, SINTEF Digital, Norway


The Arctic Frontiers secretariat is hosted by Akvaplan-niva located at the Fram Centre in Tromsø, Norway. The secretariat is responsible for day to day operations and for the organisation of the annual conference, and reports to the steering committee.

The secretariat is led by Ole Øvretveit.


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