AMC Auditorium, Maritime Way, Newnham CampusSummary:
Royal Institution of Naval Architects - Technical Seminar, Last Season at the Sørsdal: Engineering an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle beneath an Antarctic ice shelf
- Peter King
Following on from July’s talk on the RSV Nuyina, this talk focuses on engineering the first expeditions under the ice of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle nupiri muka.
The University of Tasmania’s world-leading polar Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and its support crew returned home after a successful first deployment in Antarctica earlier in 2019. The $5 million AUV, named nupiri muka, is the first untethered Australian AUV to dive under an ice shelf and joins those from the US, 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 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 the team to deliver critical data to scientist 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. But how did this engineering feat come together? Peter will explain…. and tell us what’s next?