Application of unmanned underwater vehicles in polar research
at : Aug 17, 2021 13:53:28  (view:230)

Application of unmanned underwater vehicles in polar research

ZENG Junbao1,2,3*, LI Shuo1,2,3,4 & LIU Ya1,2,3

1 State Key Laboratory of Robotics, Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China;

2 Institutes for Robotics and Intelligent Manufacturing, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110169, China;

3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing100049, China;

4 Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China

Abstract: The importance of the polar ice cover as vital components of the global ocean–climate system is widely recognized. This paper first explains the importance and urgency of research on polar environment, and then discusses the primary characteristics of polar sea ice and ice shelves, and outlines the difficulties and current status of sub-ice environmental research. After that, this paper describes the significance of the unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) utilization in the research, which are important tools for exploring the ocean. Then, focusing on recent progress in the implementation of UUVs in polar scientific sub-ice investigations, the latest international developments that encompass UUV structure, navigation, payload, and field operation are reviewed respectively in Antarctic and Arctic region. Moreover, the Chinese polar UUVs and their deployments in polar regions were introduced detailed. Additionally, key technologies and solutions regarding polar application of UUVs (e.g., sub-ice navigation and positioning, energy supplementation and data transmission, and sub-ice guidance and recovery) are discussed. Finally, given the current worldwide attention on polar science, the potential future directions of UUV-related polar research (e.g., observations under Antarctic ice shelves, long-range surveys beneath Arctic sea ice and application of intelligent technology) are elucidated.

Keywords: unmanned underwater vehicle, polar ocean, scientific investigation, key technologies, development trend