Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs)

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, to survey vast swathes of the Weddell Sea seabed and the surrounding ice shelves.

One of the expedition AUVs is configured to scan the underside of the ice shelves from beneath, examining the topography of these vast water filled spaces, which have been rarely photographed or surveyed before. The second AUV is configured to scan and photograph the seabed, recording the bathymetric details of both the cavities under the ice shelves, and enabling the expedition to search for the wreck of ‘Endurance’.

The expedition AUVs are highly manoeuvrable, and are powered by rechargeable batteries, which last up to 100 hours. These versatile pieces of equipment are also fitted with side scan sonar, sub-bottom profilers, HD cameras and instruments for recording water chemistry and turbidity.

  • 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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