UK scientists developed an air-dropped projectile to place instruments in some of the most unreachable places in Antarctica. The British Antarctic Survey's spears are equipped with GPS to follow the PIG's progression towards the sea.The slender javelins are comparable to sonobuoys which are the floating instruments that are dropped from aeroplanes to study the oceans.
The new BAS projectiles are passed through a tube and exit from the interior of an aircraft like sonobuoys.They start falling towards the ice rapidly, a 20cm-wide parachute is used to stabilise their descent. When javelins hit the surface, they are found to travel at about 50m per second (120mph) and needs to be engineered to resist the high g-forces associated with a very rapid deceleration.
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