Rise Up

Ross Ice Shelf and Europa Underwater Probe

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Ice-Ocean Ecosystems

Project RISE UP is enhancing our understanding of the evolution of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, which is a prime target in NASA’s search for life beyond Earth, and helping scientists to better learn the limits of life here on Earth.

Icefin robot testing in a pool

Icefin Robot

While exploring the limits of life on Earth, we are developing techniques for future exploration of ice-ocean ecosystems. The Europa Underwater Probe, otherwise known as Icefin, is an under-ice robot designed to help scientists across a variety of environments and conditions to gather oceanographic, chemical, and biological scientific data.

Earth Exploration

Field work has been conducted in McMurdo Station (2017-2020) and Scott Base (2021-2022), Antarctica, as well as under the sea ice to the south, east, and west of the station, and deeper inland under the Ross Ice Shelf, with a team of scientists and engineers under the leadership of Principal Investigator Dr. Britney Schmidt through the NASA PSTAR program and in collaboration with Antarctica New Zealand.


Project RISE UP (Ross Ice Shelf and Europa Underwater Probe) is supported by NASA PSTAR program grant NNX16AL07G, PI B.E. Schmidt. Field work in Antarctica was supported by NASA and NSF under USAP project number B-041-M and Antarctica New Zealand through the Ross Ice Shelf Program, the HIPSMI program funded by Marsden (K063), and the Antarctic Science Platform (K0862). We’d like to thank the USAP McMurdo Station staff, the staff with Antarctica New Zealand, and the members of the New Zealand science teams for their assistance in the success of this program.