2017-2018 USAP Field Season
RISE-UP: Ross Ice Shelf and Europa Underwater Probe
Dr. Britney Elyce Schmidt
Georgia Institute of Technology
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Researchers on the Ross Ice Shelf and Europa Underwater Probe (RISE-UP) project seek to improve understanding of the environments below ice shelves and sea ice. The science team will use the purpose-built remotely operated vehicle-autonomous underwater vehicle (ROV-AUV) "Icefin" to search for biological communities, map the ice and seafloor, and understand ocean-water structure and currents. Through improved constraint of terrestrial ice/ocean cryosphere processes, this project will enhance understanding of the evolution of other ocean-world environments in our solar system (e.g. Europa’s ice shell), which are prime targets in NASA’s search for life. This project aims to continue chasing the limits of life on Earth while developing techniques for future exploration of other planets or moons.
Field Season Overview
Participants will reside on station for six weeks before, and for one week after, their deployment to the field. After field staging and testing the vehicle in the sea ice near station, the team will be transported by Twin Otter or Basler aircraft to the NZARI RIS field camp on the Ross Ice Shelf. Once there, they will deploy Icefin through boreholes created by the NZARI RIS team.
Deploying Team Members