Autonomous Sea-Ice Thickness Survey
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HANOVER NH HANOVER United States
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We conducted an autonomous survey of sea-ice thickness using the Polar rover Yeti to tow an electromagnetic induction meter over sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. This proof-of-concept survey aimed to demonstrate improved efficiency relative to manual surveys routinely conducted to assess the safety of roads and runways constructed on the sea ice. Yeti executed the autonomous survey on 11 November 2014. This report describes the methods used, compares the measured ice-thickness profiles with manual borehole measurements, assesses the merits of autonomous surveys relative to manual ones, and describes potential future applications.