Richard Allard

Naval Research Laboratory

Applied Research Topic: 

Use of ICESat-2 data as a Validation Source for the U.S. Navy's Ice Forecasting

Potential Applications: 

Navigation; Arctic shipping


The U.S. Navy has been producing forecasts of the ice conditions in the Northern Hemisphere since the early 1980’s.  Currently, the Navy has two operational systems predicting the changing ice environment:   1) the Global Ocean Forecast System (GOFS –, which produces forecasts for both the northern and southern hemisphere, and 2) the Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System (ACNFS –, which is a subset of the global system and produces forecasts for only the northern hemisphere. GOFS 3.1 (transitioned to the Naval Oceanographic Office in Sept 2014 and scheduled to become operational in 2015) and ACNFS (current operational ice forecast system) are fully coupled ice/ocean systems that use the same ocean and ice components. Both ice forecasting systems will benefit from the ICESAT-2 data, but initially we will concentrate on studies using ACNFS.

SDT Member Partner: 
  • Li Li, NRL
  • Peter Gaiser, NRL
  • David A. Hebert, NRL
  • Alan Wallcraft, NRL
  • E. Joseph Metzger, NRL
  • Bruce McKenzie, Naval Oceanographic Office
  • Mark Middlebusher, QinetiQ North America
End Users: 
  • U.S. Navy, POC: Bruce McKenzie, Naval Oceanographic Office
  • U.S. National Ice Center, POC: Sean Helfrich, Science and Applied Tech. Dept. Head;
    NOAA/NESDIS/OSPO Snow and Ice Product Area Lead
  1. Cummings, J.A.,2013:"Variational data assimilation for the global ocean." Pp. 303-343 in Data Assimilation for Atmospheric, Oceanic and Hydrologic Applications (Vol. II), S.K. Park and L. Xu, Eds, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-35088-7_13.
  2. Hunke, E.C. and W. Lipscomb, 2008: "CICE: The Los Alamos sea ice model, documentation and software user's manual, version 4.0". Tech Rep. LA-CC-06-012, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM.
  3. Metzger, E.J., H.E. Hurlburt, A.J. Wallcraft, J.F. Shriver, L.F. Smedstad, O.M. Smedstad, P. Thoppil and D.S. Franklin, 2010: "Validation test report for the global ocean prediction system v3.0 — 1/2 HYCOM/NCODA" Phase 2. Naval Report NRL/MR/7320—10-9236, Stennis Space Center, MS.
  4. Posey, P.G., E.J. Metzger, A.J. Wallcraft, R. H. Preller, O.M. Smedstad, M. W. Phelps, 2010: "Validation of the 1/12º Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System (ACNFS)", Naval Report NRL/MR/7320—10-9287, Stennis Space Center, MS.
  5. Proshutinshky, Al, 2009: "Beaufort Gyre Climate System Exploration". J. Geophys. Res. Special Issue, Vol, 114.
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