Antarctic game changers — MacGyver style

Antarctic game changers

Video transcript

Mark Milnes: Hi, this is a really cool underwater robot. We've instrumented it with a 3D camera system and a really clever optical sensor that measures the amount of algae and the sea ice above it. It’s a game changer because we can use this vehicle to swim around underneath the sea ice and cover a large amount of area in a very short amount of time.

Jim Williams: Hi, I’m working on the fiber optic breakout termination system. This allows us the functionality of transmitting data over thousands of meters of cable at around about a thousand times the bandwidth of a standard NBN connection all through these tiny fibers. This is a game changer for us because it allows us to control and record video live from the ocean floor.

Kym Newbery: Hi there, I’m working on the next batch of penguin nest cameras and we're sending these down to Antarctica to take lots and lots of pictures of penguins on sitting on their nests. And this is a game changer because if we had to do this with people we'll get lots of complaints, it will be very boring and they’d get very cold and hungry. So, it’s a fantastic thing because these guys do it with no pay and no complaints. So thanks very much for visiting AAD Science Technical Support!

[end transcript]

Electronics technician with penguin monitoring remote camera and Adelie penguin nesting nearby
Engineer Kym Newbery at Welch island near Mawson station with the penguin monitoring remote camera. (Photo: Kym Newbery)

Take a sneak peek inside the Australian Antarctic Division’s electronics lab where Antarctic-style MacGyver’s are designing and constructing instruments with serious skill and stamina.

To celebrate the ‘Game Changers and Change Makers’ theme of National Science Week, the Division is introducing a few of our extreme engineers building the equipment we use on the icy continent.

Developed to help scientists answer the big scientific questions, the technology includes cameras to monitor penguin nests, an underwater robot with a 3D camera system and fibre optic cables that transmit real time data from the deep, dark depths of the Southern Ocean.

Time to meet these MacGyver-inspired Antarctic game changers!