A Season at the Sørsdal: Operating an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle beneath an Antarctic ice shelf


Come along and hear about the first deployment of the University's autonomous underwater vehicle in Antarctic waters and how it was used as a research tool.

Start Date

19th Jun 2019 6:00pm

End Date

19th Jun 2019 7:30pm


VOS-Rory Spence Lecture Theatre, School of Architecture and Design, Inveresk Campus

RSVP / Contact Information

E.; T. 6226 2521

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A Season at the Sørsdal: Operating an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle beneath an Antarctic ice shelf

The University of Tasmania’s world-leading polar Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and its support crew have returned home after a successful first deployment in Antarctica.

The $5 million AUV, named nupiri muka, is the first untethered Australian AUV to dive under an ice shelf and joins those from the UK and Sweden as the only AUVs in the world with this capability.

Funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through the Antarctic Gateway Partnership, nupiri muka was successfully deployed under the Sørsdal Glacier ice shelf during the summer Antarctic season with support from the Australian Antarctic Program.

Peter King, from the University’s Australian Maritime College, led a support team of engineers and scientists who have opened the way for more ambitious polar research projects under ice shelves and sea ice in the future.

nupiri muka allowed them to study variables such as water temperature, salinity and current as well as the profile of both the seabed and the underside of the ice, while at the same time collecting sonar imagery and potentially data on the internal structure of the ice.

These large amounts of data will shed new light on the way in which Antarctic ice shelves melt.

This forum provides you with an opportunity to hear about this important expedition and view video from beneath the ice shelf. 


  • Peter King, AUV Facility Coordinator
  • Isak Bowden-Floyd, AUV Engineer
  • Damien Guihen, AUV Research

Refreshments from 5.30pm