HARBIN, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) developed by a Chinese university team has obtained abundant data during the country's latest Arctic expedition, revealing various features beneath the North Pole.
The red, fish-shaped robot called "XH1000" was made by researchers from Harbin Engineering University. During the 13th Arctic Ocean scientific expedition, which concluded in late September, it completed under-ice environment detection operations near the Chukchi Sea and relayed a torrent of data, including ocean water temperature, salinity and pH levels.
Equipped with domestically developed detection sonars, the polar-observing AUV explored an area of 7,000 square meters beneath the Arctic ice.
Operation team leader Zhu Zhongben, who is an associate professor at the university, said the information gathered will help scientists improve their understanding of the changing process of sea-ice and ocean currents in this region, providing data support for effectively coping with the impact of global climate change on China.
According to Zhu, the expedition has verified several technologies, including underwater navigation at high latitudes in the polar region, and generated valuable experience for robotic submersible to work in the high-risk polar areas and extreme harsh environments.
Chinese scientists set off for the 13th Arctic Ocean scientific expedition on July 12 aboard the polar icebreaker Xuelong 2. They traveled 15,000 nautical miles before returning to Shanghai on Sept. 27. Xuelong 2 reached the North Pole on Sept. 5, filling the gap in the country's scientific research on the polar region, the university noted. ■