The potential oil reserves in the Arctic are enormous. However, the inherent difficulty (and risk) of oil exploration and production in the Arctic is proving to be the most challenging region in the world. The challenge will be to establish the ability to collect a wide variety of information (e.g., environmental) from under the ice and then deliver that information to a command center for analysis and application in a short amount of time. The Arctic Relay Communications, Data Exchange and Enhancement Protocol (ARCDEEP) Optical Laser Communications (OLC) system will support the real-time exchange and exfiltration (exfil) of information collected under sea ice, enabling the networking and fusing of data from fixed distributed sensors and mobile platforms (e.g., both aircraft as well as mapping autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) under the water) and the aggregation of their data for enhanced analysis/interpretation. Therefore, ARCDEEP becomes an Arctic "information enabler" dramatically increasing Arctic situational awareness (e.g., tracking an oil spill under the ice, exfiltrating subsurface Arctic sensor data, etc.).

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