UUVs to aid in search for famed explorer’s lost ship off Antarctica

Photo: Saab

An expedition team will utilise unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) to search for the wreck of Endurance, one of the sailing ships of famed early 20th century Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

The Endurance22 Expedition will utilise Saab UUVs that can either be operated remotely from a mothership or pre-programmed to navigate autonomously.

The team will deploy the UUVs to Endurance‘s last known location in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica, where it sank in November 1915. Once the ship’s exact position on the seabed is identified, the unmanned craft will be deployed underneath the ice to record videos, still images, and survey data.

The Saab UUVs will be deployed from the South African icebreaking research vessel SA Agulhas II. The UUVs will be able to operate over a hundred kilometres away from the mothership if sea ice conditions at the wreck site will make navigation difficult for larger vessels.

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