DEPTHX (Deep Phreatic Thermal eXplorer) is a prototype Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) that was designed to assist in the development and testing of critical capabilities that will be utilized on NASA’s future mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. The DEPTHX self-guided “hydrobot” is a 4-degree-of-freedom proof-of-concept AUV helping scientists research “science autonomy” and 3D simultaneous localization. It
contains sufficient onboard power for an eight-hour mission. DEPTHX can descend to working depths as great as 1,000 meters and travel distances of more than a kilometer from its starting point.
Stone Aerospace is the principle investigator and builder of the DEPTHX experimental AUV. Other team members include Carnegie-Mellon University Field Robotics Center; the Southwest Research Institute; the University of Colorado at Boulder; the Colorado School of Mines; the University of Texas at Austin; and the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Institute. More information about DEPTHX can be found at www.stoneaerospace.com. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University.