NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory prototyped a new rover design with the BeagleBone Black!
"Testing a Space Rover Under Alaskan Ice"
Here's a screenshot of the BeagleBone:
Ice is an insulator....
Down in the Antartic they simply string the HF communications antenna just above the ground (it melts into the ice otherwise) for their comms.
I suspect the antenna on the rover linked to a base station in the shelter ....
But the water would act as an attenuator, so maybe there is something more planned, or it needs a mothership to act as the go between.
This paper back in 1987 uses 1.8Mhz and suggests a depth of 20m underwater is possible.
The temperatures are not that low at 0degC or -32F, otherwise the water would freeze.
I read somewhere that because of sunlight being trapped the water under the ice was above that, so I suspect the BeagleBone is toasty rather than frozen.
That was an incredible video to watch (good old National Geographic : ). I can see that features like the on-board eMMC, very secure mounting capability and open source hardware were probably critical features for selection for this scenario.
I wonder if any parts were modified, or if it was a totally unmodified BBB that was run through temperature tests to confirm operation, since it was controlling what was probably very expensive hardware.
You are true. The most reliable option is that the rover has the antenna (maybe this white long stuff that seems doing nothing?) and on the surface not far away (some meters) there is a receiver / satellite repeater. In this video it is sure that the show was only a demo (or less than a demo): you see the rover underwater and this means that there was also an equipe that does not appear in the video - not part of the scientific expedition - filming all the event.