Autonomous underwater vehicles: an automated submarine explored Antarctica

autonomous underwater vehicles

How can autonomous underwater vehicles be used for research? An automated submarine allowed scientists to explore Antarctica.

According to CTV News Vancour, the submarine is compared to a Mars Rover for the unexplored sea because it is programmed to venture out by itself.

Autonomous underwater vehicles

Autonomous underwater vehicles are robots which can travel under water without input, after they have been programmed. Autonomous underwater vehicles are part of a group of undersea systems known as unmanned underwater vehicles.

As the processing capabilities of autonomous underwater vehicles are becoming more advanced and there are higher yields of power supplies, they are being used increasingly, and more varied missions.

What is the submarine?

The submarine is an autonomous underwater vehicle that a team from British Columbia used to help them with research on Antarctica. They programmed the submarine to deep dive under the ocean.

The senior technical adviser Jean-Marc Laframboise explained:“It’s a machine that you pre-program in advance. It goes in the water and it does its task without us intervening with it”.

The autonomous underwater vehicle was developed and built at International Submarine Engineering in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada.

Laframbroise said that sending out an autonomous underwater vehicle can be nervewracking. “But it’s not our first time,” he added. He states that the mission was successful and scientists are now examining the data uncovered by the autonomous submarine.

Research on Antarctica’s Sordals glacier

The submarine dived under Antarctica’s Sordals glacier. The autonomous underwater vehicle collected information including the temperature and salt level of the water.

According to CTV, the scientists hypothesise that the glacier is melting from the top and the bottom. It is hoped that data from the autonomous submarine will help to support or oppose this theory to increase scientific understanding of Antarctica.

Source:  CTV News Vancouver.

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