Pioneer Water Tanks America Collaborates with Stone Aerospace for NASA Project
So what’s your first reaction when we say the Pioneer Water Tanks America team was hired to install a tank to be used for testing the underwater equivalent of a Mars rover?!
Stone Aerospace is a Texas-based company dedicated to developing smart systems and tools needed to explore today’s frontiers – both space and underwater.
Specialising in autonomous underwater exploration vehicles, they were contracted by NASA to develop an underwater rover that will explore the oceans underneath the ice-crusted moon of Jupiter, Europa.
Europa is one of the only existing celestial bodies in our solar system that we know contains large amounts of water. It’s speculated there could be life in the vast oceans on this moon.
However, it is covered by an ice crust several miles thick.
Stone Aerospace was tasked with adapting their existing autonomous underwater exploration vehicles for use on Europa and developing a first-generation prototype ice-boring probe.
Their design, SUNFISH, is a user friendly and person-portable Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The AUV was designed to explore an ocean hidden beneath more than 15km of ice and autonomously gather data from the alien planet.
Pioneer Water Tanks America was hired to install an XLE 15/03 Open-Top Tank with a customer liner and storage facility of 29,000 UG gallons – that’s the equivalent of 110,000 litres.
The tank is being used for initial testing of the prototype ice-boring probe. Shortly after this, it will be transported to Alaska for testing in a glacier.
Steven Sweeney from Tank Builders, the Pioneer Water Tanks America authorised dealer, says Stone Aerospace was very impressed with the tank and building services.
They were specifically impressed with certain features including the top-hoop truss reinforcement, the top HDPE angle, the corrosion resistance of next generation ZINCALUME® steel, the anchoring system, and the willingness of Tank Builders to stage the installation in a way that allowed them to coat the inside of the metal shell with truck bed liner.
“Originally they purchased a tank from another manufacturer, however they said it was simply and adaptation of an existing grain bin,” says Steven.
“The comments I received from the Stone Aerospace engineers indicated that it was obvious the Pioneer tank was designed as a water storage tank and fit for purpose.”
Pioneer Water Tanks are water solutions that are designed fit-for-purpose. Richard Dunfield and the team at Pioneer Water Tanks America worked collaboratively with Stone Aerospace engineers to configure the project.
We’re proud to have contributed to facilitating this project, and as Pioneer Water Tanks America said, we’re excited to be playing a vital role in the exploration of our solar system, shooting for the stars in every possible way.
Follow the exciting project on Stone Aerospace’s Facebook page.