When ships operate in the Arctic, sea-ice induce an additional environmental load on the vessel. The ice load can vary significantly depending on the dominating ice-breaking failure mode.

In this work a sensor system for measuring ice induced accelerations on the Canadian icebreaker CCGS Amundsen and a Swedish Atle-class icebreaker is presented. The sensor system consists of low-cost inertial measurement units. Ship-ice interaction data has been collected during expeditions along the coast of Labrador in Canada and in the Greenland Sea north of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. Depending on the failure mechanism of the interacting ice, vibrations at different frequencies are induced into the icebreaker ship. A time-frequency decomposition based on the Wigner-Ville distribution has been modified such that it is applicable to analysis of ice-load induced acceleration signals. Based on the frequency pattern of the induced vibrations, this novel method allows for evaluation of the intensity of the ice-loads and identification of the dominating ice failure mechanism, which is demonstrated for several ship-ice interaction events.

The presented novel time-frequency decomposition for ice induced accelerations is a powerful tool for the identification of the threat imposed by sea-ice to a structure. In further work the time-frequency decomposition will be used as feedback in ice-capable control and monitoring systems for Arctic offshore operations.

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