It has been just over a year since the horrible events that unfolded in Japan which to the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant leaking nuclear contamination into the adjacent ocean area. Experts claim that it would take another 40 years, at the very least, to clean up the mess. But even then those venturing for the cleaning process could be at risk of nuclear contamination. To deal with risks like this and much more Wolfgang Fink of the University of Arizona has designed a brilliant Lake Lander that is both autonomous and efficient.
Though the creation of the Tuscan Explorer II (TEX II) was primarily to serve exploration missions in the liquid hydrocarbon oceans of the gaseous giants of our solar system, it can be customized and used equally efficiently on our own oceans. Propelled by two powerful engines, designed in the form of a catamaran to offer stability and sporting on-board cameras and sonar, TEX II is ready to undertake both surveillance and exploration missions. Designed to even handle the rough and volatile oceans of Titan (Saturn’s largest moon which many believe houses an atmosphere that could be conducive to human inhabitation once the sun becomes a red giant) it can even cruise on our own oceans as it deals with oil spills and marine research.
The advantage of REX II is that its complete automation, which allows us to send it into conditions which might be intolerable to us. It can track plastic garbage patches that are a major reason for ocean pollution depending on ocean currents. Since it is powered by electric motors, it will not further add to pollution and will not affect the delicate marine ecosystem. The Styrofoam hulls can take plenty of damage and still keep TEX II afloat. While it might be a while before TEX II helps us explore the surface of Titan, it can already help us in trying to keep our oceans clean and pollution-free.