The goal of the mission "Enceladus Explorer" is the autonomous navigation of a subsurface melting probe through deep ice to search for extraterrestrial life on Saturn's moon Enceladus.


The goal of the mission "Enceladus Explorer" is the autonomous navigation of a subsurface melting probe through deep ice to search for extraterrestrial life on Saturn's moon Enceladus. As a first step, the probe will collect a clean in-situ sample of an isolated subglacial sea in Antarctica. Autonomous navigation through such unknown and GPS-denied environments is a challenging task, especially for current technical systems. In contrast, biological systems are very well adapted to handling uncertain, incomplete and unexpected information. Therefore our aim is to use bio-inspired multi-sensor fusion approaches as well as cognitively motivated strategies for an autonomous navigation solution. The project is a collabration with other universities and is funded by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).

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