January 7th, 2013 - January 8th, 2018
Funded by NASA, the SIMPLE project (Sub-ice Investigation of Marine and Planetary-analog Ecosystems) is to deploy an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) whose sensors collect biogeochemical data of the water’s composition (salinity, pressure, conductivity, and oxygen concentrations) and photograph the underside the ice surface, and use sonar data to map the underside of the ice surface. The goal is to compare measurements of the ice shelf taken from under the ice with measurements taken from above the ice, to improve future mapping missions to Jupiter’s ice-covered moon Europa, and eventually send an AUV under that ice to search for life. SIMPLE is a collaboration of UIC, Stone Aerospace, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, San Jose State, University of Texas at Austin, and Montana State University. Prior to SIMPLE, NASA funded the project ENDURANCE (Environmentally Non-Disturbing Under-ice Robotic ANtarctiC Explorer).