Field Update: Jan. 4, 2011

The flight from McMurdo out to the ANDRILL Coulman High camp yesterday brought Doug Wilson, Ethan Marcoux, Dar Gibson, and Graham Roberts. The SCINI team – Bob Zook, Paul Mahacek and Dustin Carroll – who had finished their work for the Coulman High Project were transported back to McMurdo with their cargo by the Bell 212 helicopter. They had been out at Site #3 since December 16th and had fully tested the SCINI remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in numerous dives through the ice shelf. SCINI is an acronym that stands for Submersible Capable of under Ice Navigation and Imaging. The SCINI robot is only 15 centimeters in diameter, so it can easily fit down a small hole in the ice, and has been making dives through the sea ice (up to 8 meters thick, or about ~24 feet thick) for the past 3 years. The dives with ANDRILL were the first attempts to put SCINI down through the ice shelf, which at this site was approximately 260 meters (~800 feet) thick.

The team operated together to make this happen, putting in long hours for many days to realize this accomplishment. SCINI did great and everyone learned a lot about what it takes to operate an ROV through and ice shelf!!

Bob, Dustin and Paul not only maintained and operated the vehicle, but also downloaded the high resolution imagery collected by SCINI’s cameras.

The work kept them busy, but they all enjoyed their time at the camp.

Previous Update | Next Update | All News