Tune in to live data today as Nortek and Kon-Tiki2 explore the South Pacific

The Kon-Tiki2 expedition is on a quest to contribute to environmental research as well as experimental archeology. Nortek is lending scientific support as the expedition sets out to document climate change, marine life and pollution in the Southern Pacific.

The Kon-Tiki2 expedition got its name because the team seeks to double-down on explorer Thor Heyerdahl's famous voyage by sailing two rafts from South America to Polynesia and then back. In order to understand human migration in the Pacific, it is essential to know what sea voyagers were capable of doing. In order to start finding solutions to the environmental challenges in the South Pacific, it is also essential to get a precise scientific snapshot of its environmental conditions.

On their way, the crew will use Nortek’s Aquadopp current profiler in combination with the Autonomous Online System (AOS) to scientifically measure the speed and direction of currents in the water. The Nortek AOS can offer online access to ocean data from any location via satellite – including the Kon-Tiki2 balsa raft.

Follow the data stream from our Aquadopp and AOS as Kon-Tiki2 makes its way to Polynesia and back.

A platform for scientific investigation

We caught up with Cecilie Mauritzen, the expedition's Chief Scientist to learn more about this journey. She is a physical oceanographer, and has worked as a scientist, focusing on the ocean's role in climate. On her way to Polynesia, she will be making measurements of pollution and climate change in the ocean. A special area of focus is marine plastic pollution in the giant Southern Pacific Garbage Patch.

“I am profoundly interested in the state of the world’s oceans. For me as an oceanographer this expedition is an amazing platform for scientific investigation. It enables us to measure a little documented part of the ocean, uncovering the massive changes this part of the ocean has undergone. In this context it is important for us to measure the currents in the ocean – this will give us a more rich and complete set of data. It will help our analysis to understand the conditions in currents near the ocean’s surface.”

Measuring and collecting data

Mauritzen will be using an Aquadopp current profiler with a2MHz transducer head. This instrument is set up to measure and collect data from three cells in the water column. Each cell covers a two-meter vertical area in the water.

She says that the Southern Pacific used to be a serenely pure and uncontaminated place when Thor Heyerdahl did the first Kon-Tiki voyage. Her team now wants to document how conditions have changed.

“We will be investigating where the pollution comes from, and where it is headed. Understanding currents to see where the pollution comes from is important to settle the issue of who is to take the burden of cleaning this up. It is, in fact, a legal issue based on the principle of ’the one who pollutes also pays’.”

Her team is making the research available and understandable in real time. Following the expedition, the scientific team will be giving students access to the data for further analysis.

Kon-tiki2 aquadopp

Chief Scientist Cecilie Mauritzen is using the Aquadopp current profiler to obtain data from the South Pacific.