Michigan News

(Photo: Jack Rowley)

USVs: A Solution for Inspecting Dams and Guarding Waterways

The widely reported dam failures in Central Michigan this spring highlighted the dangers of aging infrastructure. As an op-ed in The New York Times, “Dam Failures Are a Warning,” suggested, “Two dams down, a few thousand to go.” It was not meant to be a sensational statement. Deteriorating infrastructure is an issue for most countries. Many nations have systems in place to evaluate and grade the state of their national infrastructure. In the United States, the nation’s civil engineers provide an assessment of the nation’s sixteen infrastructure categories using an

Larger-than-average GoM ‘Dead Zone’ Expected

Force uses them to help inform overall nutrient reduction targets across the watershed.This is the third year NOAA is producing its own forecast, using a suite of NOAA-supported hypoxia forecast models jointly developed by the agency and its partners – teams of researchers at the University of Michigan, Louisiana State University, William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, North Carolina State University, and Dalhousie University and the USGS, who provided the loading data for the models. The NOAA forecast integrates the results of these multiple models into a separate average

Photo: Saab Seaeye

Another Sabertooth Vehicle for Hibbard

Hibbard Inshore has purchased a second Saab Seaeye Sabertooth underwater robotic vehicle.  The Michigan-based company was first to adopt the Sabertooth technology for long tunnel inspection, breaking its record with a 12 km Australian run using its initial Sabertooth vehicle.The Sabertooth technology also enabled Hibbard to lead in water-filled tunnel inspection at speed and against flow – and negotiate more consecutive bends than conventional systems.In addition to its single hulled Sabertooth, Hibbard has also evaluated the double hulled Sabertooth which has led to the recent purchase and

NUI is lowered into the Aegean Sea before plunging to a depth of 500 meters to explore Kolumbo volcano. (Photo by Evan Lubofsky, © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

WHOI Robot Takes First Known Automated Sample from Ocean

Car, NUI was equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based automated planning software—including a planner named ‘Spock’—that enabled the ROV to decide which sites to visit in the volcano and take samples autonomously.Gideon Billings, a guest student from the University of Michigan whose thesis research focuses on automated technologies, got the honors of using his code to collect the very first automated sample, which was of a patch of sediment from Kolumbo’s mineral-rich seafloor. He issued a command to the autonomous manipulator and, moments later, a slurp-sample

Jussi Åkerberg, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of AW-Energy Oy (Photo: AW-Energy Oy)

US Patent Approval for Wave Energy

watching with interest.  It comes at a time when national power grids are being stress-tested and impacted by outages, the most recent experienced in the UK causing chaos and disruption across England and Wales.  Other recent power cuts have severely impacted the US in areas such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas as well as South America, India and in Australia.The USTPO Patent Approval for WaveRoller provides further reassurance of AW-Energy’s approach on protecting the commercial opportunities for its technology and offshore energy expertise

(Photo: NOAA)

NOAA Scientists Honored for Innovative Research

scientific leadership they have brought to their respective fields, and I am confident they will move NOAA and the Nation forward by advancing science and technology.”Meet the winners:Eric Anderson, a physical scientist at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for leading innovative research in hydrodynamic forecasting to address many of the Great Lakes’ most pressing issues, including harmful algal blooms, extreme storm conditions, and oil spill response.Michelle Barbieri, a veterinary medical officer at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries

ASV BEN (Bathymetric Explorer and Navigator) is a custom prototype built by SV Global Unmanned Marine System for University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping. ASV BEN has a state-of-the art seafloor mapping system that can map depths reaching 650 feet. (Photo: Ocean Exploration Trust)

Searching for Shipwrecks

The ice had barely retreated from the coast of northern Lake Huron this spring when a group of farflung researchers converged in Rogers City, Michigan. They were there to map unexplored areas of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. If all went well, they would discover new shipwrecks and natural features such as sinkholes, fish habitats, and interesting geological formations.During the two-week expedition, researchers mapped areas within the sanctuary with a multibeam sonar system aboard autonomous surface vehicle ASV BEN (Bathymetric Explorer and Navigator) from University of New Hampshire’s

(Photo: NOAA)

Average Sized Dead Zone Expected in the Gulf of Mexico

Mission Area.This is the first year NOAA is conducting the Gulf dead zone forecast independently.  It is the culmination of a multi-year academic-federal partnership to develop a suite of NOAA-supported hypoxia forecast models. The partnership included teams of researchers at the University of Michigan, Louisiana State University, William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, North Carolina State University and the USGS. Some of these groups are also developing independent forecasts, released in coordination with NOAA and using the USGS data.NOAA and its partners continue to

A 25-foot section of inland underwater oil barrier is laid out on a dock prior to deployment, Monday, April 23, 2018, in Kalamazoo, Mich. The three-foot high barrier is made of PVC and X-Tex fabric, and is designed to let water flow through while trapping oil. Weighted chains and scour flaps prevent oil and sediment from flowing underneath the barrier. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo courtesy of Research and Development Center)

Coast Guard Tests Underwater Oil Barrier System

of Morrow Lake, and tested two different anchoring methods. The anchoring method is dependent on river depth, type of substrate of the river bottom, and resources available to oil spill responders at the time of an incident. Local U.S. Environmental Protection Agency representatives and the Northern Michigan regional director from the office of Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., observed portions of the test.This is one of several efforts the RDC is undertaking to improve spill response capabilities for non-floating oil because of the increasing transport of oil sands and diluted bitumen, known as dilbit. Depending

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