At the disposal of specialists of Institute of technology of Georgia there is an automatic research vehicle, the robot under the name Icefin developed especially for researches of depths of the ocean in regions which surface is covered with an ice layer. And this robot is not simply development, it was already used in practice for researches of the ocean under an ice shelf of Ross in Antarctic. Just the same technology can be used to have an opportunity “to glance” to the ocean which is located below ice “armor” in which Europe, one of ice satellites of Jupiter “is shrouded”. And this opportunity finds special relevance in the light of plans of NASA for researches of Europe which it was declared quite recently.
Let’s remind our readers that the management of NASA declared the beginning of realization of own mission for studying of Europe which purpose is attempt of detection of traces of life which can exist at rather warm subglacial ocean.
Europe is completely covered with a thick ice layer, but results of some supervision and researches say that below an ice layer there is rather deep ocean. At this stage it is still not up to the end clear what exactly NASA plans to do on Europe during the first mission preparation to which will be conducted some more years. But the Icefin robot which was already used for researches in Antarctic, can investigate and depths of the ocean of Europe if, of course, scientific NASA thinks up a way to drill a small opening in a multikilometer layer of an ice armor of Europe.
The automated research Icefin robot by means of a set of autonomous technologies will be able to study various aspects of environment, including also exotic forms of life which can exist in benthonic layers of the ocean. As the robot pulls along a cable, the radius of its action is limited to distance in 1500 meters, and it is enough onboard resources of the robot for implementation of movements on distance to 3 kilometers. It is quite probable that in researches of the ocean of Europe still the bigger option of the robot under the name Artemis which stock of the course will be enough for overcoming of a distance in 15 kilometers will be able to give big help. And it will be enough in order that will reach an ocean floor of Europe in a place of its smallest depth.
For the present it is impossible to tell, whether Icefin or Artemis robots ever will go to space for studying of other worlds. But they represent one of tools which can be used for this business already right now.