NASA is nearing the end of the construction of the Mars 2020 rover, while the underwater rover is preparing to sail under the ice in a different location than Mars,media neowin reported. NASA plans to send the under-ice exploration buoyancy rover (BRUIE) to the Australian Casey Research Station in Antarctica next month. Upon arrival, it will conduct a series of tests under the Antarctic ice sheet to assess the durability and versatility of such rovers.
One of the tests will reverse the BRUIE because of sea ice. Throughout the test, the rover will remain connected to the ground, allowing engineers to test the rover’s instruments, including two HD cameras, on-site.
The dynamics of Antarctic waters are very similar to icy satellites, so the chosen location will prove well suited for the expected test. In addition, BRUIE will explore the ice-water interface because, according to chief scientist Andy Klesh, “… Life often lives between the sea floor and the ice-water interface at the top. “
The data collected from these tests is critical to continuing to develop such rovers, which are designed to explore underwater life for other objects in our solar system in the future. One of the prerequisites for such rovers is that they should be able to navigate alone in an alien ocean locked by ice, which can be 6 to 12 miles (10 to 19 kilometers) thick. “
Klesh points out that most dive robots are now wasting a lot of power when they hold their posture underwater. To solve the diving problem, BRUIE “uses buoyancy to anchor anchors on ice and is not affected by most ocean currents.” Most importantly, the underwater rover “can safely turn off the power and turn it on only when measurements are needed, so it can spend months observing the environment under the ice.” “
Although the same rover was tested underwater in Alaska and the Arctic in 2015, this will be the first time BRUIE has set foot in Antarctica.