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'Boaty McBoatface': Submersible Vehicle To Have Its Historic Journey Across The Arctic Ocean

First Posted: Oct 19, 2016 05:08 AM EDT
Keel-laying Ceremony Takes Place For The RRS Sir David Attenborough
An Autosub, autonomous submarine, is displayed during the keel-laying ceremony of the new polar research ship for Britain, RRS Sir David Attenborough, which is named after the naturalist, at Cammell Laird shipyard, on October 17, 2016 in Birkenhead, England. World-renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough initiated the lifting of the first block. The RRS Sir David Attenborough is being built by Cammell Laird and operated by British Antarctic Survey. The new research ship will be one of the most advanced in the world. The keel-laying ceremony is a maritime tradition said to bring luck to the ship during her construction and to the captain and crew during her life.
(Photo : Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

A British autonomous submersible vehicle known as Boaty McBoatface will navigate 1,500 miles across the Arctic ocean in 2018 or 2019. Currently, it is now on training for this historic journey.

Boaty McBoatface will dive to the bottom of the Southern Ocean to know how currents work at their lowest levels. The said submersible vehicle can dive down to a depth of nearly four miles. It will then go over the North Sea to explore how and why carbon dioxide is hidden offshore. Then, it will finally navigate the Arctic and explore the ecosystem underneath the ice without GPS, according to Popular Mechanics.

Professor Russel Wynn, from the National Oceanography Centre, Boaty's UK base said that it represents one of the last great transects on Earth for an autonomous sub. He further said that in the past, such submersible vehicles have gone perhaps 150 km (horizontally) under the ice and then come back out again. He added that Boaty McBoatface will have the endurance to go all the way to the Arctic.

Prof. Wynn is affirmative toward Boaty and has high hopes. He described Boaty as the marathon-running equivalent of the other submersible vehicles in that it goes deeper, longer but slower. He explained that Boaty can operate for months and could work in the deepest parts of the ocean, unlike the other yellow submarines that go for a couple of days recover them and recharge the batteries.

The Boaty McBoatface could reach a depth of 6,000 meters and operate for extended periods without any mediation from humans, according to BBC. The journey could provide and help scientists know the conditions underneath the ice.

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