iceCAPSULE - new in-ice quantitative imaging strategies

The "iceCAPSULE" is constructed in its upper parts like a boat to cruise to a pack-ice edge. The middle part consists of two slides. Two protected drives produce over 5000 kN propulsion, strong enough to lift the 1400 kg system onto the ice or to crack 8 cm sea-ice. At the stern the vertical wing leading to the the underwater bridge system 120 cm below surface is visible, carrying on high impact aluminum wings optical benches with the 3D ecoSCOPE head and illumination systems. A large polycarbonate underwater window below a heated observation room allows for direct observation of the experimental scene and adjustments of the drill/melting systems with a feedback manipulator. In the bow electronics and transducer are isolated with 15 cm foam. Over 12 meters of junction rails allow for variable docking of instruments, other modules and camera carriers. The system transmits the images and navigational data to the computer- and control-capsule of the ICEstation ATOLL laboratory (visible in the back) while the iceCAPSULE drifts unmanned with the packice. The hulls of both floating structures are shaped obliquely in the underwater/ice parts so ice-pressures will lift them up. The bridge was tested to withstand pressures up to 3.8 tons, and was never deformed. An ice anchor and winch system can pull the system over the ice or crack the bridge into ice up to 28 cm.

deployment of U.W.E (UnderWater Explorer) ROV from the iceCAPSULE during construction works in the sheltered bay of the ATOLL station - the norwegian SPRINT Remotely Operated Vehicle (one of the most advanced on the planet at that time) is connected via a hovering umbilical. Three camera systems are in the raytrace of a single high quality lens: a color camera, a light amplifier and a 36 mm film camera. The camera housing can remotely be tilted upwards while the ROV stays stationary and relatively quiet. On the right side on deck of the control-module ATOLL the norwegian technician (with pipe) and Peter Marschall (with beard) work on the Joystick Box. After three days of exercise the ROV could be controlled within 3 cm precision. The yellow area underwater  to the right of the submersible shows the calibration screens below the underwater windows of the station. Three times U.W.E was shipped down to Antarctica but did not withstand the extreme conditions - but finally, after the above imaged, intensive, longterm-, longrange-tests and adjustments/replacements we retrieved -on the last chance granted by the senior scientist- the first images from the ice-caves, and our assumptions, that krill hide, live, even graze there were for the first time proven and quantified. Shortly after the interest in underwater imaging drastically increased - and respect - the system and we were the laughing stock for many before for years.

vertical wings and control levers of the underwater bridge

The micro- iceberg no 69 (ca. 2500 kg) - one we caught drifting, and surrounded with the lagoon of the ATOLLstation for getting some of the ice-variables into our onboard NeXT workstation crunching ecoTUNE code since the 80's - later it went into our whiskey jars crunched or cooled BOMMERLUNDER for our fine guests from many countries - makes a nice crackle (that was the finest  direct result - by far)


copyright @ AWI & MEO & Uwe Kils

supported @ DFG & BMFT & HGD & VOLKSWAGEN

logistics @ IfM & isS

communications @ d'art

remotely operated vehicle unterwasser fahrzeug uwe kils karin ole bjoern bjorn krill euphausia superba antarctica antarktis neue nahrung aus dem meer iceberg iceberg ecotune ecotune.com ecoscope ecoscope.com cybermic ecoscan ecoscan.com foto kils hermann g dethleffsen cyberrov cybersub