Navigation System for a Research Ice Probe for Antarctic Glaciers

H. Niedermeier, J. Clemens, J. Kowalski, S. Macht, D. Heinen, R. Hoffmann, P. Linder

Abstract: Water filled caverns and crevasses in glaciers are miraculous habitats, which can accommodate highly specialized and adapted microbes and bacteria. The challenge for scientists is to obtain a sample of this water without contaminating it with surface bacteria, as well as to protect the sample from oxygen and sun light. “IceMole” is a combined melting and drilling probe that can drill a bore hole with flexible trajectory under the ice and allows breaking into the crevasse from below or from the side to obtain clean and unaltered sample liquids, unlike standard drilling equipment. For this, the probe can travel distances in the ice of up to 80 m. A complex navigation system is needed to pinpoint the target. This paper focuses on the development and test of the IceMole navigation system, which enables precise probe navigation through the ice. This naviga¬tion system covers dead reckoning (DR) using inertial sensors, magneto¬¬meters and axial feed information, as well as acoustic positioning and reconnaissance, and sensor fusion. Navigation inside of glaciers is a special application of mining and borehole navigation. The special application and combination of the individual parts of the navigation suite make the project unique.
Published in: Proceedings of IEEE/ION PLANS 2014
May 5 - 8, 2014
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Monterey, CA
Pages: 959 - 975
Cite this article: Niedermeier, H., Clemens, J., Kowalski, J., Macht, S., Heinen, D., Hoffmann, R., Linder, P., "Navigation System for a Research Ice Probe for Antarctic Glaciers," Proceedings of IEEE/ION PLANS 2014, Monterey, CA, May 2014, pp. 959-975.
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