Oceanalpha USV Explore the Third Pole of the Earth | OceanAlpha

After more than 40 years, China once again started a large-scale and comprehensive scientific investigation of the Tibetan Plateau,known as the third polar of the earth. 
It’s the first time the expedition team applys unmanned surface vessels(USV) and drones in their survey. As the only unmanned platform to participated in this national expedition, Oceanalpha’s USV attracted worldwide attention.


During the mission, Oceanalpha’s USV conducted an automatic bathymetric survey and hydrographic survey through instruments such as echo sounder in accordance with the pre-set survey line. It also collected data of the pH, conductivity, and salinity.

According to experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the scientific research on the Seliincuo Lake will help to understand the general situation of underwater formations and the genesis of lakes and provide scientific data and suggestions for the establishment of a national park in the future.

In an interview with a CCTV reporter, Zhu Liping, deputy director of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, stated that the survey of highland lakes cannot use large-scale inspection ships. In the past, surveys of highland lakes were usually conducted by rubber boats. Unexpected storms often occurred and the surveyors on-board would be in danger. Using USVs can avoid these dangers.

Zhu Liping said that compared to manual piloted boats, another advantage of USVs is that data can also be collected automatically. “By setting up the program in advance, the USV can survey and return the data while sailing.”