Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs)

The Endurance22 search team used advanced underwater technology to locate the wreckage of the Endurance – specially built hybrid Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) called Sabertooths fitted with High-Definition cameras and side-scan imaging capability. Made in Sweden by SAAB and operated by the underwater search specialists, the Sabertooths can search and map huge patches of the ocean floor to depths of up to 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) sending the data to the surface in real-time.

When the Endurance was successfully found, she was surveyed by the AUV’s laser scanner to produce a 3D model and full photogrammetric coverage of the wreck and its debris field. The resulting graphical data will be precisely scaled allowing the wreck, together with its equipment, fittings and contents, to be recorded to a level of accuracy comparable to that of an archaeological survey on land.

The historical research and survey data collected by the Expedition will be used as vital baseline information for the future monitoring and protection of the wreck of the Endurance.


Technical Features of the SAAB Sabertooth AUV

SAAB Sabertooth technical features


Interview with AUV operator Chad Bonin

You can find out more about how this technology was tested in cold water sea trials in France, with Endurance22 education partner Reach The World: Read More