DADU – The Tiny submersible
Curiosity has always lead man to glory. It is the reason for many great discoveries nowadays. We’ll be discussing one of those discoveries, to which curiosity led man. Today we’ll be discussing a tiny submarine created by researchers Jonas Jonsson, Erik Edqvist, Hugo Nguyen and Greger Thornell. It’s a project of Uppsala University’s Division of Microsystems Technology. The idea originally came from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
“What I think is exciting with this is to be able to explore previously inaccessible areas, to explore where no “man” has explored before,” said Jonas Jonsson, an engineer now with Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies Inc. at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
The curiosity, we mentioned, In 1979 The Voyager 2 mission first scouted out the Jupiter’s icy moon from afar. The Voyager 2’s images and data hinted at the existence of a liquid water ocean lurking beneath Europa’s icy surface. Since then humans have been trying to study those oceans. And this is the main reason that led to the discovery of this tiny sub-marine. The sub-marine was named as DADU (Deeper Access, Deeper Understanding). It would use eight small thrusters to maneuver around the underwater world. It would be connected to its surface lander or station by means of a fiber optic tether — this would allow its operators to charge its lithium- ion batteries and control it through a remote-control and for real-time communication.
On-board software allows the submersible to automatically dodge obstacles or stay at a certain depth underwater. The Swedish team created a series of tiny instruments and sensors for the dream submersible. DADU has a forward-looking camera with a small laser to capture high-resolution video and to gauge the distance, size and shape of underwater objects. But a huge challenge came from shrinking everything down to incredibly small sizes. The sensor for measuring the conductivity, temperature and depth of water is smaller than a fingernail.
The submarine will be tested by exploring similar watery environments on Earth where its small size could prove very useful. “A mission to explore Lake Vostok in Antarctica, which is believed to have been isolated from the rest of the world by kilometers of thick ice for millions of years, would of course be the ‘Holy Grail’ mission, and a real proof of concept for a future mission to explore the oceans thought to exist underneath some of the frozen moons in the solar system, such as Europa and Enceladus,” One of the Lead Researchers Jonas Jonsson explained.