Location: Inexpressible island, Ross Sea, the Antarctica
Time: December 2017
Equipment: M80USV + Reson T50P multibeam sonar; SE40 USV + SOUTH SDE_18 singlebeam sonar
User: China National Oceanic Administration Nanhai Survey Technology Center
Survey area: 5 square kilometers
Duration: 14 hours
Background: In November 2017, China’s 34th Antarctica scientific expedition was officially launched. Two Oceanalpha M80 submarine exploration USVs and two SE40 hydrographic USVs accompanied the Snow Dragon polar scientific research ship all the way south to the Inexpressible island on the west bank of the Ross Sea to assist in the construction of China’s fifth Antarctica research station.
Key mission: The Ross Sea area had never been explored before, and the geographical data is insufficient, finding the ideal anchorage for the Snow Dragon became a problem to be solved. The USVs are responsible for collecting bathymetric and topographic data for the anchorage of the Snow Dragon.
On October 24th, 2017, engineer team from Oceanalpha visited the Chinese Polar Expedition Base in Shanghai to conduct a test for the preparation of the upcoming expedition of the polar-customized M80 USV. After a simple land test, engineers used a small crane on the Snow Dragon to hang the USV into the water.