Technology

Aerial drones and satellite remote sensing technology will be used to assist the captain of S. A. Agulhas II in finding the easiest channel through the ice. Drones will also be used to measure sea ice thickness and snow depth, and the measurements will be coordinated with data from an upward- looking Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to give a better understanding of the sea ice conditions.

State-of-the-art AUVs deployed from the ship are able to work independently under the ice up to one hundred nautical miles away so, as long as the vessel is able to get close enough to its target locations, it will be possible to conduct research and gather valuable data. The AUVs hydrodynamic design provides maximum stability and maneuverability, while accurate instruments and excellent battery capacity make them ideal for high-resolution seabed mapping and imaging, oceanographic surveys and search operations.

  • AUV

    The expedition will use Hugin 6000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), which operate at speeds of up to six knots and in water depths of up to 6,000 metres.

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  • ROV

    The deployment of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) by the expedition enables researchers to collect samples of flora and fauna from the seabed for further study in the laboratory.

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  • Aerial Drones

    The expedition will also use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly known as aerial drones. UAVs are manufactured to provide an eye in the sky without a human pilot onboard.

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  • Sediment Corers

    Sediment cores are used to sample the organisms that live on or just below the surface of the ocean floor (the benthos), while also displaying the structure of the sediment by boring a large tube into the benthos and then raising the column.

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  • Oceanography (CTD)

    A CTD (also known as Sonde) is a multi-parameter water monitoring system that is designed to simultaneously measure a range of biological and physical properties in both salt and fresh water.

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