Physics and Space Science News and Events

Study of water flow in Picton Bay


Dr. Jennifer Shore and Mr. Peter Snell of The Department of Physics and Space Science have published a study of water flow in Picton Bay.

Dr. Jennifer Shore and Mr Peter Snell on Picton Bay

Using GPS-powered drifters, researchers have been able to obtain measurements of how water moves through the bay. The drifters are pulled around by the local currents and continually broadcast their locations over the internet.

Municipal water intakes, located about 3.3 meters under the surface near the South end of Picton Bay, are vulnerable to risks from contamination, harmful algal blooms, and other water quality threats from a changing ecosystem due to climate change.  Drifter measurements, combined with water-flow models, allow for better management of these risks.

For further information, see the Water Quality Research Journal, and Protecting Drinking Water in the Bay of Quinte With Help from GPS Drifters.

First Annual Physics for Defence Lecture


The annual Physics for Defence public lecture presents unclassified research carried out by faculty in the Department of Physics and Space Science, and its connections with the mission of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. .

Public Lecture: Hunting the Sound of Silence: Non-Acoustic Methods of Submarine Detection
Dr. Ron Vincent, RMC

The modern submarine is a stealthy adversary that poses a significant military threat. The standard method of finding a submarine is through the detection of its acoustic signature using hydrophones. However, advances in technology have led to the emergence of virtually silent submarines, rendering acoustic techniques ineffective. This presentation will examine non-acoustic methods of submarine detection that may be employed from an aircraft or satellite.  Topics of discussion include: submarine-induced bioluminescence, the Kelvin wake, and the Bernoulli hump.  The use of blue-green lasers to detect underwater targets is also examined.

Thursday, 7 March, 2019
11:00, Sawyer 1303

Department of Physics and Space Science

Contact: Dr, Gregg Wade 613-541-600 ext. 6140


The Effect of Arctic Dust on the Retrieval of Satellite Derived Sea and Ice Surface Temperatures


Large quantities of dust are transported annually to the Arctic, primarily from Asian deserts. The influx of dust into the polar environment changes the radiative properties of clouds while the deposition of dust onto ice and snow decreases the surface albedo. Atmospheric and surface dust may be identified with space borne radiometers by comparing infrared energy in the 11 μm and 12 μm regime (BTD11-12). Between 2007 and 2017 satellite infrared data revealed persistent low-level dust clouds in the vicinity of Amundsen Gulf in the Western Canadian Arctic during the melting season. Evidence suggests that the subsequent deposition of atmospheric dust in the region affected the surface emissivity in the thermal infrared regime. As a result, satellite derived sea and ice surface temperature algorithms were rendered inaccurate in these areas. Moreover, the ubiquitous nature of dust in the region may play a role in the rapidly vanishing cryosphere. Further details can be found at: The Effect of Arctic Dust on the Retrieval of Satellite Derived Sea and Ice Surface Temperatures

Satellite images in visible and infrared (19 July 2016) showing dust deposition in Amundsen Sound and effect on surface temperature of land and water.