Ice Breaker in the ocean being surveyed by a drone.

Antarctic Ice Breaker Case Study

AUAV was engaged by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) to travel on the V2 Supply to Casey Station in the summer of 2015. Our staff prepared and tested the technology in the harsh conditions of the southern ocean. With a well documented methodology the technical challenges of cold, wind, GPS cover, magnetic compass issues and ship communications interference were overcome.

The resultant documentation and manual from the trip, the first of its kind, was adopted by the AAD and New Zealand exhibition on resupply ships.

Antarctic Ice Breaker for The Australian Antarctic Division

Drone inspection specialist preparing for Antarctic Ice Breaker survey.


  • The Australian Antarctic Division had recognised the potential for drone technology as an efficient way to navigate Antarctic sea ice.
  • They wanted to identify the potential limitations of the technology, and prepare a set of guidelines to enable the roll-out of drones on all resupply voyages.


  • The team were able to demonstrate how cutting edge technology could be applied successfully in difficult conditions.
  • The thorough and deep understanding of the equipment and the limitations were applied to work through and solve the task at hand.
  • Integration of drones into the workflows of complex tasks that has the ability to save the AAD thousands of dollars an hour.