An ice pressure sensor has been designed and built at Exxon Production Research Company (EPR) to measure the pressure in an ice sheet. Laboratory and analytical studies were performed to establish a data reduction procedure to relate the pressure sensor output to the pressure in the ice sheet. However, because of the complex mechanical behavior of sea ice, the present experiment was conducted to validate this data reduction procedure. The validated procedure is considered applicable to a broad class of embedded ice pressure sensors. Field in-ice pressure sensor response tests were conducted near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, between February and April of 1978. Twenty-two tests were conducted on three test blocks of ice to investigate the in-ice response of three ice pressure sensors. An ice block measuring 10 ft by 20 ft and of full thickness of the natural annual ice was cut free from the surrounding ice sheet after the pressure sensor was installed at the center of the block. This ice block was loaded by an in-situ hydraulic ice loading device capable of delivering approximately two million lb of load. The pressure sensor output and the test load were monitored continuously during each test so that the pressure sensor output could be compared directly to the corresponding applied pressure. The test results indicated ratios of applied ice pressure to measured sensor pressure within the range hindcast by theoretical analysis.

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