- To complete a 3D aqueous chemistry map of the entire sub-ice domain of West Lake Bonney (including: Depth, Conductivity, Temperature, PAR, Turbidity, Chlorophyll fluorescence, DOM fluorescence, pH, and REDOX).
- To complete a high definition 3D bathymetry map of the floor of West Lake Bonney and the sub-ice sheet up-look topography.
- To explore and create a 3D map of the sub-chemocline grounding line beneath Taylor Glacier and to chart the 3D chemistry in that locality.
Each of these requires the use of an autonomous, long range underwater science platform capable of operating in excess of 2 kilometers from a single melt hole through the 4m thick ice cap of West Lake Bonney and reliably returning to that hole following every mission. It also requires the vehicle to be able to consistently return to precise 3D points in space beneath the ice cap for repeated time-varying measurements throughout the expedition. To do so, ENDURANCE uses a 3-stage autonomous navigation system comprised of a very high grade dead reckoning system, a mid-range iUSBL localizer, and a novel visual homing procedure that detects the melt hole and locks on to a specific frequency oscillating, collimated light beam for final stage ascent. During missions in which the data must be precisely geo-registered the vehicle is tracked through the ice using a custom-designed magnetic field oscillator. RTK GPS is then used to lock the vehicle position relative to a surface fix. Onboard precision (+/- 6mm accuracy) depth sensors lock the position in 3D space.
In the blog entries that follow we will initially provide insights into daily life on the expedition but will increasingly migrate to technical discussions relating to the mission objectives, planning, and results for each mission and how that relates to the overall objectives listed above. Because of the compressed field season the team ran many back-to-back 18 hour days and running the missions and cataloging the data took precedence over timely blogging, which explains why those who followed the live blog may have noted a gap beginning around November 15th. This has now been rectified and the daily record links listed below represent the entire 2009 ENDURANCE mission. The advantage of taking the extra time to post these later logs has allowed us to present a more refined, engineering-level summary of what happened on each day.
ENDURANCE 2009 is supported by the NASA ASTEP program under Grant NNX07AM88G and by the NSF USAP.
Principal Investigator:Peter Doran (UIC)
Bill Stone (Stone Aerospace)
John Priscu (MSU)
Chris McKay (NASA Ames)
Kristof Richmond (Stone Aerospace)
Bart Hogan (Stone Aerospace)
Shilpa Gulati (Stone Aerospace)
Chris Flesher (Stone Aerospace)
Vickie Siegel (Stone Aerospace)
Bob Kenworthy (Stone Aerospace)
Rachel Price (Stone Aerospace)
Maciek Obryk (UIC)
Jim Olech (UIC)
Emma Steger (UIC)
And many thanks to all the great field support from RPSC, USAP, and McMurdo Station helo ops, science cargo, Berg Field Center, MEC, carp shop, and Crary Lab.