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Real-time ice and snow monitoring

SIMB3 enhances your observational capabilities with ice thickness, growth, melt, and temperature data on demand. 

How it works

SIMB3 measures mass balance, snow accumulation, and temperature of sea ice, pond ice, or lake ice anywhere in the world.

Every hour, data are transmitted and available online immediately

See an SIMB3 data page

Why Sea Ice Mass Balance Buoy 3?

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Collect data in summer

High-precision sonic rangefinders directly measure ice and snow position even when the ice is warm and melting.

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Open water deployable

Waterproof and buoyant, SIMB3 is both deployable and operable in open water and seasonal ice.

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Set it and forget it

Install SIMB3 in less than 30 minutes to collect a year's worth of data.

See SIMB3 detailed specifications

Time-Series Monitoring

SIMB3 enables year-long observations of ice melt, growth, and temperature profile that are impractical or impossible to collect by other means. Whether you’re conducting climate research or monitoring ice roads, SIMB3 stretches your data collection capabilities and dollars by automating routine observation.

Learn how to plot SIMB3 data using MATLAB

Ice mass balance plot showing snow accumulation, thickness, growth, and melt

Real-Time Connected

We believe that data is better when it’s in your hands quickly. From our data dashboard, you can view the data your SIMB3s collect immediately after they collect it. Current conditions, historical measurements, and instrument information are available within 5 minutes of transmission from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

View the data dashboard

Cryosphere Real Time Data Portal mocked up on Apple computer, iPad, and iPhone

Performance Optimized

Observing the world's harshest environments is tough enough. SIMB3 was born out of the frustration of faulty and inconsistent equipment making a difficult job even harder. From deployment to recovery, we’ve optimized SIMB3 to make your life easier and ensure your research goals are met every time.

See how to deploy SIMB3 in < 30 min

SIMB3 deployed on MOSAiC

One tool, many applications

Sea ice floe

Sea ice research

Remotely observe the 4-season cycle of sea ice mass balance with independent surface and bottom measurements

Truck driving over ice

Community monitoring

De-risk ice travel and navigation with ice thickness, growth, melt, and weather data in real-time

Wind energy and wind turbines

Offshore energy

Better inform strategic decisions by monitoring sea ice conditions near current and future asset locations

See how SIMB3 can benefit your project


"The SIMB3 is a central component of our research program. It provides enhanced capabilities for sea ice mass balance measurements in a package that is easier to ship, easier to install, more reliable and less expensive than previous models. Data from SIMB3s are automatically posted on the web within minutes making it easy to track ice temperature and thickness at multiple locations in the polar oceans"
Dr. Don Perovich
Professor of Engineering, Dartmouth College

Organizations that rely on SIMB3

Dartmouth college logoMcGill University logoThe Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) logoUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks logoCanadian Ice Service logoCold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory logoArctic ice project logo

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We'll get back to you within 24 hours

Other Resources

Watch an SIMB3 be deployed as a part of MOSAiC!

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