Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - marine

SeaBED-class AUVs – The Deepwater Imager

October 11, 2013

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The SeaBED AUV, developed by WHOI scientist Hanumant Singh and colleagues, is an AUV that can fly slowly or hover over the seafloor to depths of 6,000 feet (2,000 meters), making it particularly suited to collect highly detailed sonar and optical images of the seafloor. SeaBED flies about 8 feet (2.5 meters) above the seafloor, flashing its strobe light and snapping a photo every three seconds. It maintains a constant altitude and speed of a ½ knot. Over the last seven years SeaBED-class AUVs have shown their versatility on missions ranging from shallow coral reef surveys to searches for deep-sea hydrothermal vents, in environments ranging from the open ocean to the dense ice cover of the Arctic.

Preventing Ballast Water Invasive Species Propagation

July 13, 2013

Ballast water is used to stabilize ships at sea, being pumped-in to weigh down a ship for safe navigational conditions when the ships hull is not filled with cargo for a voyage. Controlling the amount of ballast water embarked helps to reduce stress on the hull while providing transverse stability when underway. The correct use of ballast also makes ship propulsion more efficient and increases maneuverability. By correctly controlling the amount and location of ballast within the hull an officer can compensate for weight lost due to fuel and water consumption during a voyage, always maintaining optimum stability. Just by reading the paragraph above it becomes clear to any landlubber that ballast water is vital for safe ship operations.