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Antarctic Gateway Partnership

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Marine Technology and Polar Environments Research

Antarctic Gateway Partnership

The Australian Maritime College, a specialist institute of the University of Tasmania, is a major collaborator in world-leading research that will allow the nation to capitalise on the robotic age of Antarctic exploration.

The Antarctic Gateway Partnership is a Special Research Initiative funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC). The partnership involves the University of Tasmania, centred at the Australian Maritime College (AMC) and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS); the CSIRO's Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship; and the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).

Antarctic Gateway Partnership research has four integrated themes that enhance Australia's existing Antarctic effort. The initiative will build new polar research capability in Tasmania to secure and reinforce its recognition as a global leader in Antarctic and Southern Ocean science; and further establish Tasmania as a gateway for Antarctic research, education, innovation and logistics.

Antarctic Gateway Partnership Research is undertaken across four themes:

  • Cryosphere-Ocean Interaction
  • Open Water and Under Ice Foodwebs
  • Solid Earth-Cryosphere Interaction
  • Marine Technology and Polar Environments

The Marine Technology and Polar Environments theme includes $7.5 million of co-funding to establish a marine technology hub to build next-generation hybrid autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) capable of exploring hundreds of kilometres under metres-thick ice.

Work is underway to develop the polar capable AUV at AMC in Launceston, including the recruitment of four new research positions. The aim is to research, design and build the robot over the next three years in readiness for deployment in 2018.

Overall, the Antarctic Gateway Partnership involves the employment of forty young researchers and technicians working with senior scientists at the largest Southern Hemisphere Antarctic and oceans research hub.

For further information, please visit Antarctic Gateway Partnership's website.