Bernd Dachwald, Marco Feldmann, Clemens Espe, Engelbert Plescher, Changsheng Xu and the Enceladus Explorer Collaboration
Development and Testing of a Maneuverable Subsurface Probe That Can Navigate Autonomously Through Deep Ice
9th International Planetary Probe Workshop, 2012, Toulouse, France


The "IceMole" is a novel maneuverable subsurface ice melting probe for clean sampling and in-situ analysis of ice and subglacial liquids. In 2010, a first prototype was successfully tested on a Swiss glacier and demonstrated successful horizontal, upward, and downward melting capabilities. The probe also drove a curve and penetrated layers of "dirt". Within project "Enceladus Explorer" - or "EnEx" - a more ambitious IceMole probe is currently under development. The main objective of EnEx is to develop and test the technology that is required to navigate in deep ice, in preparation of the IceMole and the associated navigation technologies for extraterrestrial targets.