Our goal is to greatly increase access to the Arctic Ocean by creating and demonstrating a safe and economical platform capable of basin-scale surveys. Specifically, we are developing an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) for Arctic research with unprecedented endurance and the capability to relay data through the ice to satellites. We will provide a means of monitoring changes taking place in the Arctic Ocean and investigate their impact on global warming. The vehicle will also be capable of seafloor surveys throughout the Arctic basin. We call the vehicle the ALTEX AUV (Figure 1), for the Atlantic Layer Tracking Experiment that motivates its development.