DOER Marine

Ice Bore hole ROV

The Sub Ice ROV or SIR is a highly specialized hydraulic vehicle designed to fit down a hole bored through 1000m of Antarctic ice. Its mission is to explore below the Ross Ice Shelf with special focus on the “grounding line”: the area where the ice leaves the shore and floats out over the water. This wholly unexplored realm may hold key information about climate change, sub ice shelf geology, undiscovered species, and clues about causes of ice shelf thinning. The vehicle is large because it is depth rated for 1500m and must carry 27 different sensors and sampling tools, many of which must be modified to fit within the design constraints of the bore hole. Once below the ice the SIR transforms from the down hole mode and unfolds into exploration/flight mode. Before being shipped to Antarctica, the SIR will be tested in Lake Tahoe where it will be used to explore and examine geological features including submerged earthquake faults while providing the Antarctic team with an opportunity to train on the vehicle.


Deep Ocean Exploration and Research | Subsea Robotics & Submersible Systems