Bernd Dachwald, Marco Feldmann, Clemens Espe, Engelbert Plescher, Kostas Konstantinidis, Roger Förstner and the Enceladus Explorer Collaboration
Enceladus Explorer - A Maneuverable Subsurface Probe for Autonomous Navigation Through Deep Ice
63th International Astronautical Congress, 2012, Naples, Italy (IAC-12-A3.5.7)
The "IceMole", as being developed at FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences' Astronautical Laboratory, 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 tested on the Swiss Morteratsch glacier, where it successfully demonstrated horizontal, upward, and downward melting capabilities. The probe was also able to drive a curve and to penetrate layers of "dirt". Based upon these achievements, a joint research project - termed "Enceladus Explorer" or "EnEx" - was established between six German universities to develop and test a more ambitious IceMole probe as well as the technology that is required to navigate autonomously through deep ice, in preparation of the IceMole and the associated navigation technologies for extraterrestrial targets.