Botspeak

Since I’ve got one for Antarctic terminology, here’s a glossary of engineering and scientific terms you’ll encounter when talking about the bot.

‘bot
The robot, ENDURANCE.
DeltaT
The multibeam sonar unit. Sends out 480 sonar beams in a 120° fan to let ENDURANCE scan the shape of its surroundings. Used to build high-precision maps of the bottom of Lake Bonney and the Taylor Glacier face.
DVL
The Doppler Velocity Log. Tells ENDURANCE how fast it is going, kind of like your car spedometer, except this one uses sonar beams and the Doppler effect.
IMU
The Inertial Measurement Unit. A set of very high precision gyroscopes which allow ENDURANCE to know in what direction it is pointed at all times. An important part of the navigation system.
profiler
The system comprising the spooler and sonde which forms the primary science payload on ENDURANCE.
sonde
Part of the profiler.The instrument package deployed by the spooler which measures the water chemistry and other properties. ENDURANCE’s nose.
spooler
The winch system which pays out the sonde on a cable.
syntactic
A type of flotation foam which can withstand great pressures. It consists of lots of hollow glass beads embedded in a foam matrix. The glass beads don’t compress under pressure, and so maintain their buoyancy, and the matrix allows the material to be formed into different kinds of shapes. What the orange flotation packs on ENDURANCE are made out of.
USBL
The Ultra-Short BaseLine acoustic positioning system. Tells ENDURANCE how far it is from a beacon we hang at the melthole, and in what direction it is. Allows ENDURACE to find it’s way home.
the vehicle
See ‘bot.
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