Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Robot plumbs Wisconsin lake on way to Antarctica, jovian moon

14.02.2008
A University of Illinois at Chicago scientist will lead a team testing a robotic probe in a polar-style, under-ice exploration that may have out-of-this world applications.

But the team will keep to a venue that's much closer to home.

Peter Doran, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at UIC, will lead the team Feb. 11-15 working in the icy waters of Lake Mendota off the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

They'll conduct an under-ice test of a NASA-funded robotic probe called ENDURANCE -- an acronym for Environmentally Non-Disturbing Under-ice Robotic ANtarctic Explorer.

The wintry Wisconsin conditions are hoped to simulate and to demonstrate whether the probe's systems can operate in icy conditions as a first test of using such a vehicle in a similar environment on Jupiter's moon Europa.

ENDURANCE is is a $2.3 million project funded by NASA's Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets Program. The probe is an underwater vehicle designed to swim untethered under ice, creating three-dimensional maps of underwater environments. The probe also will collect data on conditions in those environments use sensors to characterize the biological environment.

"Basically the game plan this week is to test the vehicle's performance in a cold ice-covered environment," Doran said. "Up to now it's only been tested in relatively balmy environments like Texas and Mexico. We want to see what issues may come up by pushing it into the frigid water."

The next step by the research team is to ship the probe to Antarctica's permanently frozen Lake Bonney later this year. Bonney is a two-and-a-half mile long, mile-wide, 130 foot-deep lake located in the continent's McMurdo Dry Valleys. It lies perpetually trapped beneath 12 to 15 feet of ice.

ENDURANCE will map Bonney for a month, then do a second mapping in 2009. Data gathered will be relayed back to Chicago where it will be used by UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory to generate various 3-D images, maps and data renderings of the lake.

Science teams are developing and testing the technology for a possible underwater exploration mission on Europa far in the future. The probe is a follow-up to the Deep Phreatic Thermal explorer, a NASA-funded project led by Stone Aerospace that completed a series of underwater field tests in Mexico in 2007.

Bill Burton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future
27.04.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Penn researchers quantify the changes that lightning inspires in rock
27.04.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>