Boaty McBoatface Just Set Off On Its Antarctic Adventure
Last year the Natural Environment Research Council launched an online contest for the public to name the UK’s new $300M polar research ship. Boaty McBoatface won in a landslide but the British government stepped in and deemed it unsuitable, opting to name the boat Sir David Attenborough instead.
As consolation, the NOC named an autonomous submarine Boaty McBoatface, and both ship and sub recently embarked for its Antarctic research expedition. According to Gizmodo:
The project, called the DynOPO (Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow) expedition, is a joint effort between the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Southampton University. By mapping the flow of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) within the 11,500-foot (3,500 meter) deep Orkney Passage, the researchers are hoping to understand how these important deep sea currents are being affected by climate change.
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). [source]
Humorous name aside, the research project is an important one, and the name that has so resonated with the public is likely to shed more light on this project. So bon voyage and Godspeed Boaty!