We performed the first dunk test of the robot yesterday. This is done by just hanging the bot in water from a crane. The flotation “syntactic foam” is not put on. The aim is to check for leaks in hardware, and make sure the entire system works in water.
Melting the hole took way longer than we expected. The day began by the hole frozen over with ice. Rest of the story in pictures below.
The melt-hole was frozen over with ice.
Jim first broke the ice with an ice-axe.
After breaking the ice, we put the heating coils in water to melt the walls of the hole. Kristof spent almost the entire day tending and moving the coils to get a smooth sided circular melt-hole.
I felt much better and was able to work all day, though still far from 100%.
The bot being dunked into water.
Bart observing the bot. There were no leaks and the profiler worked as expected, except that we could not get images from the sonde camera.
Chris and Kristof chooping off ice for water at the end of the day.