Geologists Deploy Robot Submarine below The Antarctic Ice

Geologists at the Northern Illinois University have developed a cigar-shaped robot submarine that will be deployed below the Antarctic ice.

Robot Submarine

The robot submarine will be deployed at the Ross Ice Shelf. Scientists expect to view the melting of ice in the ice shelf present below the ocean.

Geologist at the Northern Illinois University, Ross Powell stated that the submarine would enter a region where no human being has ever entered. Powell presented the robot’s potential at the American Geophysical Union.

Scientists are planning to utilize hot water to bore down over 800 m and give the robot an entryway of 30” wide. This entryway would be ideal for the Antarctic robot that has a width of 22”. The robot, after entering into the water, can accumulate images as well as the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of sediment, water, and ice present below the ice shelf. The images are then transmitted to the surface using a 3 km cable.

The robot can stay inside the water for a long time because it obtains power from the surface generators. Robotic engineers at the DOER Marine have developed a fail-safe for the robot, in case of a disaster.

Reed Scherer and Ross Powell are planning to take the robot for a test dive in March 2011 in Lake Tahoe.


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