The Mission

Prompted by the success of the NASA/ESA CASSINI/Huygens mission that delivered stunning new knowledge on the Saturn moon Enceladus the interest in targeted research of icy moons and their presumably existing liquid phases of water below the ice cover has grown significantly. Similar evidence for the existence of an icy lake on Mars had been published recently [1]. All results suggest that traces of either extant or indications of extinct life forms may be found. There is still the lack of a scientific exploration concept, however that will ensure a high probability of finding solid evidence.

To fill this gap a new project, TRIPLE-nanoAUV, had been started where the acronym TRIPLE stands for – Technologies for Rapid Ice Penetration and subglacial Lake Exploration. It takes into account the three different development strands 1) shuttle melting probe, 2) nanoAUV as payload and 3) AstroBioLab that together form the complete TRIPLE system. From its basic conception TRIPLE is open for international cooperation and collaboration with respect to the AstroBioLab, the general instrumentation as well as the data analysis following the two planned field test campaigns in Antarctica, one on the Ekstroem Ice Shelf and the other in a subglacial lake in Antarctica, e.g. in the Dome C region.

[1]: A. Diez, Liquid Water on Mars, Science 25,10.1126/science.aau1829, (2018)

The Team

Partners directly involved

  • Universität Bremen, Verbundführer (MARUM, CNI)
    • Christoph Waldmann, Sebastian Meckel, Joachim Clemens
  • RWTH Aachen University (IRT, Physics III B, AICES)
    • Jan-Jöran Gehrt, Dirk Heinen, Julia Kowalski
  • Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (RIC)
    • Miguel Bande, Leif Christensen
  • Technische Universität Braunschweig (IFF)
    • Ulf Bestmann
  • GSI Gesellschaft für Systementwicklung und Instrumentierung mbH (GSI)
    • Clemens Espe
  • Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI)
    • Autun Purser, Frank Wenzhöfer
  • DSI Aerospace Technologie GmbH (DSI)
    • Ulf Kulau, Jochen Rust

Associated partners and projects

  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
  • TRIPLE-FRS (Project started July 1, 2020)
    • Michael Stelzig
  • Universität Hohenheim (Project started on Sept. 1, 2020)
    • Stefan Fox
  • TRIPLE-MoDo – coordinated by DSI (anticipated start Nov. 1, 2020)
    • Ulf Kulau
  • TRIPLE-IceCraft coordinated by GSI (Project started Aug. 1, 2019)
    • Clemens Espe