Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - australia

M.V. Fugro Equator and the Hunt for MH370

August 24, 2014

air journal Fugro Equator systemes MH
With the imminent the start of the next phase of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which is likely to get under way towards the end of September, it is interesting to take a look at the vessels and systems which will be participating, as it promises to be a very challenging search due to the harsh weather common to the area and a complex seafloor. Detailed information is being gathered on the topography of the ocean floor west of Australia, which confirms the seabed in some locations to be extremely rugged. This key survey, of a largely uncharted deepwater seafloor, will guide a millimetric search using towed side-scan sonars, magnetometers, sub-bottom profiler and AUVs. The Australian authorities have warned that the search could take a year to complete.

M.V. Fugro Equator and the Hunt for MH370

August 24, 2014

With the imminent the start of the next phase of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which is likely to get under way towards the end of September, it is interesting to take a look at the vessels and systems which will be participating, as it promises to be a very challenging search due to the harsh weather common to the area and a complex seafloor. Detailed information is being gathered on the topography of the ocean floor west of Australia, which confirms the seabed in some locations to be extremely rugged. This key survey, of a largely uncharted deepwater seafloor, will guide a millimetric search using towed side-scan sonars, magnetometers, sub-bottom profiler and AUVs. The Australian authorities have warned that the search could take a year to complete.

UN Bans Japan from Antarctic Whaling

March 31, 2014

Whale Breaching
The UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the Japanese government must halt its whaling program in the Antarctic. It finally agreed with Australia, which had presented the case in May 2010. Australia’s case claimed that the Japanese whaling program was not for scientific research as claimed by Tokyo, arguing that the program was commercial whaling in disguise. A score of other countries have condemned Japan for the practice, yet it took 4 years for UN’s ICJ to pass its verdict. The court's decision is considered legally binding. Reading out the verdict, Presiding Judge Peter Tomka said the court had decided, by 12 votes to four, that Japan should withdraw all permits and licenses for whaling in the Antarctic and refrain from issuing any new ones.

The Catlin Seaview Survey

January 20, 2014

catlin seaview survey map
The Catlin Seaview Survey is the first comprehensive study of the Great Barrier Reef to document the composition and health of the world’s coral reefs across an unparalleled depth range of 0-100m. The project includes a shallow and deep reef survey and began on the Great Barrier Reef in northeast Australia in 2012. The shallow reef survey involves photographing the reef in full 360 degree panoramic vision on an unprecedented scale using specially developed cameras. These images are analyzed automatically using image recognition software, specially designed by University of Queensland researchers, creating a baseline for scientific analysis from remote locations.

Shell’s Huge Prelude FLNG Hull Launched

December 10, 2013

Shell Prelude FLNG
The hull of Shell's Prelude was floated in South Korea. When construction is complete, Prelude will be the largest floating facility ever created, weighing more than 600 thousand tons. It will be moored off Northwest Australia for natural gas production at Shell’s Prelude field beginning in 2017, and will operate for 25 years off Australia. The area where the Prelude FLNG will operate at the Browse Basin has a yearly cyclone season from November to April, but the Prelude has been designed to withstand such conditions. It is hoped the facility will be able to produce enough gas to power a medium sized city. The Prelude FLNG cannot strictly be described as a ship as it needs to be towed to its destination rather than travelling under its own power.

Wave Glider Capabilities and Uses

November 4, 2013

lri img Malia at sea
The Wave Glider is the first unmanned autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) to use wave energy for propulsion. Its ability to stay out at sea gathering data for long periods of time, through all weather conditions, and communicate real-time data from the surface of the ocean, assures it has a wide array of uses both for academia and for the offshore industry. First introduced in 2009, Wave Gliders have since traveled more than 300,000 nautical miles, set a world record for longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle, and been deployed on more than 100 customer missions ranging from the Canary Islands and the UK in the Atlantic Ocean to Australia in the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic.
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