Autosub Under Ice
Autosub is a 7m long torpedo-shaped submersible robot that can venture under floating ice, the last great unexplored region on our planet. Ice plays a crucial role in our climate system. Researchers particularly want to know what might happen if polar ice melts.
A few kilometres out, Autosub loses contact with its mother ship, and is as remote and inaccessible as any spacecraft.
In 2005, Autosub explored 25km under an ice sheet, the Fimbulisen Glacier in Antarctica. This mission was the Autosub Under Ice programme's equivalent of a moon landing, and, in 27 hours, gathered data on ice thickness and shape that conventional drilling could have taken hundreds of thousands of years to collect. More about the Autosub programme