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IceShuttle Teredo: An Ice-Penetrating Robotic System to Transport an Exploration AUV into the Ocean of Jupiter's MoonEuropa

Marius Wirtz; Marc Hildebrandt
In: Proceedings of the 67th International Astronautical Congress. International Astronautical Congress (IAC-2016), 67th International Astronautical Congress, September 26-30, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, 2016.


The following paper introduces the concept of an ice-penetrating robot, or cryobot, which is capable of delivering an underwater robot through an ice body into the ocean beneath. Furthermore, the cryobot is designed to function as a base station for an exploration robot and interact with it for launch, recovery, navigation and docking. The system was developed in the context of the project Europa-Explorer which was focused on developing a strategy to explore the ocean of Jupiter’s ice moon Europa. Within the paper the final design of the cryobot, as well as first experiments concerning the interaction with the underwater robot are presented. The developed design is not supposed to give a fully complete answer to all aspects of an ice drill in the context of the exploration of Europa’s ice moon, but focuses on the design of a cryobot with the particular capability to transport an underwater vehicle as well as provide necessary supporting infrastructure for the vehicle.