Sci-tech

Boaty McBoatface to set sail on its first mission Friday

Boaty McBoatface to set sail on its first mission Friday

The UK National Oceanography Centre's new Autosub Long Range, bearing the name "Boaty McBoatface", is getting ready to hit the water on its first Antarctic mission to study some of the deepest and coldest ocean waters on earth and how they affect climate change. Of course, giving this campaign a public voting portal did not end how the council expected - but - BUT!

To assist them, the researchers will be equipped with Boaty McBoatface, the first of three long-range autonomous submarines that are being developed by the National Oceanography Center (NOC).

There's just one catch: Boaty McBoatface isn't a boat, and it doesn't have a face.

British officials, however, did not let "Boaty McBoatface" become the ship's official name.

Instead, the Boaty name was bestowed on a trio of unmanned submarines as a sort of consolation prize for the public. It was instead named RRS Sir David Attenborough, after the famed BBC broadcaster and naturalist.


Despite being called Boaty McBoatface, this submarine of sorts does some very serious work.

Boaty will be collecting the bulk of its data on the Orkney Passage, a submerged valley over 2 miles below the Antarctic, as part of the Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow (DynOPO) project to assess how the ocean is responding to climate change.

Boaty and friends will launch from Chile on Friday to begin the journey to the Antarctic on board the research ship RRS James Clark Ross. The information will help scientists better understand how the ocean is reacting to a warming climate.

A year ago officials said that the drone submarine will be operated from the RSS Sir David Attenborough. Once there, Boaty will go back and forth through a deep current of bottom water, measuring the intensity of underwater turbulence.

Professor Alberto Naveira Garabato from the University of Southampton, the lead scientist of the research cruise, commented: "We know that a major driver of the abyssal ocean warming, at least in the Atlantic Ocean, is changes in winds over the Southern Ocean". Technically called an Autosub Long Range, it is a unmanned and untethered robotic vehicle created to withstand the world's deepest and coldest waters.