Long Title: Robust autonomous acoustic navigation in glacial ice for the search for extraterrestrial life on Saturn’s moon Enceladus
Runtime: 01.02.2015 – 30.11.2018
Funding Body: DLR
Consortium Manager: Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Christopher Wiebusch, III Physikalisches Institut B, RWTH Aachen University
Project Holder: DLR
Partner: III Physikalisches Institut B, RWTH Aachen University

The aim of RANGE is to bring the acoustic navigation up to the latest technological standard to plan a realistic scenario for a space mission and to be used in terrestrial applications. For an Enceladus mission we have to achieve an operator independent degree of autonomy. This is to be pursued through hard- and software solutions and the optimization of current technologies. A network of autonomous acoustic transponders works as a reference system in the glacial ice and enables a probe to navigate to a target coordinate. The further development of acoustic phase arrays enables the imaging of the movement area of the probe and the early identification of structures.