An autonomous underwater vehicle (VSA) developed by a Chinese university team obtained abundant data during the country’s most recent Arctic expedition, revealing several features about the North Pole.

The red, fish-shaped robot XH1000 was created by researchers at Harbin University of Engineering. During the 13th scientific expedition in the Arctic Ocean, which concluded in late September, it completed sensing operations under the ice near the Chukchi Sea and transmitted a torrent of data, including the temperature, salinity and pH levels of the ocean water.

Equipped with domestically developed detection sonars, the polar observation VSA explored a 7,000 square meter area under the Arctic ice.

Operation team leader Zhu Zhongben, who is an associate professor at the university, said the information collected will help scientists improve their understanding of the changing process of sea ice and ocean currents in this region, providing data support to effectively deal with with the impact of global climate change on China.

According to Zhu, the expedition verified various technologies, including underwater navigation at high latitudes in the polar region, and generated valuable experience for the robotic submersible to work in high-risk polar areas and extremely harsh environments.


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