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A scientist uses radar technology to map the insides of ice sheets

The technique helps us understand ice sheets right here on Earth -- and whether there could be life far, far beyond.
Photo of a glacier cross section in Antarctica.
Sections of a glacier break off in Antarctica | iStock/zorazhuang

To better understand the inner workings of glacier — which are often many kilometers in depth — researchers are using ice-penetrating radar, which sends radio waves through the ice, to create maps of what it looks like inside.

In this episode of Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything, Stanford radio glaciologist Dustin (Dusty) Schroeder explains how this technique works and how the data it generates can help us understand the implications of climate change here on Earth. Together with host, bioengineer Russ Altman, Schroeder also discusses how he and his team are using this technology to investigate the habitability of moons and planets in our solar system – and whether there might be life already there.

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