Boaty McBoatface to go on first Antarctic mission

Mar 16, 2017, 00:39
Boaty McBoatface to go on first Antarctic mission

The unmanned submarine named "Boaty McBoatface" following a high-profile viral campaign past year is about set sail on its first mission.

It will investigate parts of the Southern Ocean.

Boaty McBoatface may not have gotten the top prize, but a trio of autonomous polar research submarines is a pretty good consolation prize.

The name gained global fame a year ago after voters overwhelmingly chose it to christen Britain's new $300 million research ship in an online poll. The data it collects will help scientists understand how the ocean is responding to global warming.

However, in a bid to placate detractors, three unmanned submersible vessels will share the name Boaty McBoatface.

Clearly horrified at the thought of having to give its lovely new vessel such a daft name, the NERC reminded everyone that it would have the final say.

Sadly, the NERC did not think this was as amusing as Twitter did, and they chose to name the vessel after veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, according to Mashable.

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Boaty will depart from Punta Arenas in Chile on March 17.

Once there, Boaty will go back and forth through a deep current of bottom water, measuring the intensity of underwater turbulence.

"Our goal is to learn enough about these convoluted processes to represent them in models that scientists use to predict how our climate will evolve over the 21 century and beyond", said lead researcher Dr. Alberto Naveira Garabato.

In 2019 Boaty McBoatface will be fitted with acoustic and chemical sensors and sent into the North Sea to "sniff out" signals associated with the artificial release of gas beneath the seabed.

A future mission for Boaty will be to attempt the first-ever under ice crossing of the Arctic Ocean.

The U.K.'s National Oceanography Centre has even come up with a cartoon version of Boaty McBoatface to get kids interested in marine research, and, according to the Guardian, is also creating a large inflatable of Boaty that'll publicize its work at special events around Britain.