The Icefin’s main design requirements are to be easily portable between each drill site as well as capable of reaching depths up to 1500 m through a 25-30 cm hole in the ice. With these constraints, a low profile torpedo shape was chosen for the vehicle design. In order for the vehicle to be transported to each drill site, a modular design was chosen which allows the vehicle to be broken down into six separate modules that can be easily packaged for transportation. Icefin is 20.3 cm in diameter (25 cm with syntactic foam sleeve for buoyancy), 3 m long and weighs 93.9 kg. The main limiting requirement of the vehicle design was the 25-30 cm diameter hole used for deploying the vehicle.
Since it was chosen to use a single thruster torpedo design, a Myring body type was utilized to achieve the best hydrodynamic design possible.
Icefin can be broken down into six modules which include, from front to back, the nose section with the forward facing sonar and forward camera, front thruster module, sensor module , pressure module containing all batteries and pressure sensitive electronics, rear thruster module and the main thruster module. Each module is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and anodized for increased corrosion resistance. The front and rear thruster modules each house a horizontal and vertical thruster that can be used to control heave, sway, pitch and yaw.
The sensor module contains the side scan sonar, bathymetry and altimeter sensor and the side scan sonar. Each component is mounted on individual brackets for easy removal in the event it is damaged during deployment.