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OZDive Show & OZTek Advanced Diving Conference : October 1-2, 2022 at the MCEC
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Dr William Stone

Dr Bill Stone presenting at OZTek Advanced Diving Conference

Dr William “Bill” C. Stone

President and CEO, Stone Aerospace, Inc., USA


Scientific, Technical, and Management Performance.

During the past 41 years Dr. Stone has founded 8 startup companies, holds 33 issued patents and seven patents-pending, and serves on the board of directors for four corporations.

He led the design, development, and manufacture of numerous scientific and exploratory inventions including closed-cycle life support systems, autonomous ground and sub-ice underwater vehicles; ice penetrating cryobots; and high energy optical waveguided power transmission. Since 2003 he was PI or Co-I of the NASA field robotics systems:

  • ARTEMIS [NNX14AC01G] (first AUV to undertake long distance exploration under the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica, 2015);
  • ENDURANCE [NNX07AM88G] (first sub-glacial lake exploration robot, 2008);
  • VALKYRIE [NNX11AJ89G] (first laser-powered cryobot, 2014); and
  • DEPTHX [NNG04GC09G] (autonomously explored the world's deepest hydrothermal spring and discovered four new bacterial phyla, 2007).

He is the chief architect of the Stone Aerospace SUNFISH AUV.

Dr. Stone was PI or Co-I on eight NASA field campaigns. All of those field campaigns were conducted with novel robotic systems in demanding settings with zero accidents and the teams all returned safely, as did all of the vehicles.

During the past five years Dr. Stone has successfully directed the SPINDLE [NNX15AT32G], ARCHIMEDES [NNX17AF64G], and THOR [80NSSC18K1738] projects for the NASA Ocean Worlds program and is the PI for the SESAME project PROMETHEUS [80NSSC19K0612], all of which deal with technologies to enable Ocean World planetary missions. These NASA-funded endeavours have created 21 inventions affecting both sub-glacial AUV autonomy and cryobot design.


Web Links

Stone Aerospace:

For 14 years (2007-2021) of News articles, Interviews, Documentaries, and PodCasts see:

Shackleton Energy Company (mining the Moon):

Antarctic Research:

Exploring the World's Deepest Hydrothermal Spring:


Deep Cave Exploration:

Europa Mission Engineering:

Corporate Affiliations:

  • CEO, Stone Aerospace, Inc.
  • CEO, Sunfish, Inc.
  • Chairman, Shackleton Energy Company (2007 - present)
  • President, Piedra-Sombra Corporation, Inc. (2001-2016)
  • Chairman, Cis-Lunar Development Laboratories, Inc. (1987-2004)
  • President, U.S. Deep Caving Team, Inc. (1980-present)
  • Member, Board of Directors of LunaCorp, Inc. (1989-2003)

Author of 140+ engineering publications

Author of more than 100 exploration-related publications

Author of two books on exploration, including the June 2002 release by Time-Warner of “Beyond the Deep” and the 1989 book “The Wakulla Springs Project”. Principle subject of the book “Blind Descent” by James Tabor (2010).

Selected Publications

  • Stone, W.C., Siegel, V., Richmond, K., Flesher,C., Tanner, N., Moor, J., and Harman, J., Autonomous Exploration of Earth's Largest Subterranean Lake and Implications for Robotic Lunar and Mars Lava Tube Exploration, Proceedings, American Geophysical Union (AGU), Session P042, December 14, 2020.
  • Stone, W.C., et al, “Sub-Ice Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Architectures for Ocean World Exploration and Life Search”, in: Outer Solar System: Prospective Energy and Material Resources, Springer 2018, ISBN 978-3-319-73844-4, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319- 73845-1, Badescu V., and Zacny, K. editors, pp 429-541 (Chapter 10).
  • Richmond, K., Flesher, C., Tanner, N., Siegel, V., and Stone, W.C., Autonomous exploration and 3-D mapping of underwater caves with the human-portable SUNFISH AUV, IEEE Conference Proceedings, Oceans 2020, September 2020.
  • Stone, W.C., et al. 2011. Design and deployment of a four-degrees-or-freedom hovering autonomous underwater vehicle for sub-ice exploration and mapping. Proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Part M: Journal of Engineering in the Maritime Environment. 224: 341061.