Mississippi News

(Photo: Jack Rowley)

USVs: A Solution for Inspecting Dams and Guarding Waterways

U.S. Case Study for Dam InspectionsA recent example of how emerging technology has been employed to survey dams in the United States involved marrying an unmanned surface vehicle with a high-resolution multi-beam imaging echo-sounder sonar to conduct an underwater survey of the Keokuk Dam on the Mississippi River near Keokuk, Iowa.The Keokuk Dam/Energy Plant presented an extreme challenge as it is considered a nine out of ten on the scale of danger and difficulty due to the high currents and eddies caused by water flowing through the dam. This made an appropriately equipped USV the ideal solution

Graphic representation of the exercise; met-ocean data collection operations running concurrently with simulated threats, detection and mitigation assets. Image from ION.

Autonomous ANTX: Seismic Survey Tech and Port Security

to demonstrate that it could integrate third-party systems quickly into Marlin and then use it to provide the necessary information to enable decision optimisation in port security scenarios. This is what it got to do during the CNMOC exercises, which were also supported by the University of Southern Mississippi at their Marine Research Center at the Port of Gulfport.During a week-long exercise, ION was tasked with working with AutoNaut, Atlas Electronik and Marine Arresting Technologies to provide an integrated system that would detect surface and underwater threats and coordinate a non-lethal mitigation

Larger-than-average GoM ‘Dead Zone’ Expected

less than the record of 8,776 square miles set in 2017. The annual prediction is based on U.S. Geological Survey river-flow and nutrient data.The annual Gulf of Mexico dead zone is primarily caused by excess nutrient pollution from human activities in urban and agricultural areas throughout the Mississippi River watershed. When the excess nutrients reach the Gulf, they stimulate an overgrowth of algae, which eventually die and decompose, depleting oxygen as they sink to the bottom. The resulting low oxygen levels near the bottom of the Gulf cannot support most marine life. Fish, shrimp and crabs

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US Gives $88 Mln Relief to Gulf Fishing Communities

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the allocation of $88 million in fishery disaster funding to Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, where a catastrophic regional fishery disaster occurred due to extreme freshwater flooding in 2019 associated with the unprecedented opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.“The Department of Commerce stands with our U.S. fishing communities, especially in times of hardship,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These funds will help industries and individuals recover from this disaster, and build resilience for the future.”Funds can

Ms. Aria Mason & Governor Bel Edwards watch as her initials are welded in a plate that will be affixed to the keel of R/V GILBERT R. MASON. (Photo courtesy of USM)

R/V Gilbert R. Mason Keel Laying

On March 3, 2020 a keel laying ceremony was held at the Municipal Auditorium in Houma, LA for the 3rd Regional Class Research Vessel, R/V GILBERT R. MASON. The R/V MASON will be operated by the Gulf - Caribbean Oceanographic Consortium led by the University of Southern Mississippi and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON). Many of Dr. Gilbert Mason’s family members, as well as a number of dignitaries from both Mississippi and Louisiana, attended the event. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards attended and was one of the speakers. Dr. Mason’s granddaughter, Aria Mason

RENDERING OF NEW VIKING SHIP: This rendering shows what the new Viking expedition ships will look like, including the hangar for launching small vessels. Credit: Viking

NOAA-Viking Public Private Partnership, a Win-win for Research

is such that its investments and presence send strong signals, across the industry, about the health and vibrancy of the cruise business.Viking’s Great Lakes news may have a familiar ring.  That could be because in late 2018 Viking was reportedly close to concluding the steps needed for new Mississippi River cruises (see Marine News, January 2019).  Unfinished though, were critical moves for Viking, based in Switzerland, to comply with strict US carriage laws, in this case the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA), which controls the coastwise transportation of passengers between U.S. ports

Photo: Ocean Aero

Ocean Aero to Supply Vehicles for Homeland Security

Directorate (S&T) for a research, evaluation and testing program.Ocean Aero will deliver a mix of its Navigator and Discovery models and working closely with DHS and other program participants—the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), The University of Southern Mississippi, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs, LLC. Ocean Aero’s vehicles will be deployed in a wide range of ocean environments providing a platform for the integration, testing, and evaluation of a variety of advanced sensors.“This is a strategic

© Susan Vineyard / Adobe Stock

Magseis Fairfield Wins GoM Contracts

Norwegian based Magseis Fairfield announced Friday it has been awarded two consecutive deepwater ocean bottom node (OBN) projects in the Gulf of Mexico by an undisclosed repeat customer.The surveys will be carried out in the Mississippi Canyon and Garden Banks areas and will cover a total area of more than 900 square kilometers. Work is scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2020 and is expected to take approximately 100 days.The ZXPLR crew led by the REM Saltire node handling vessel was established in the Spring of 2019 and has since been in continuous demand for projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

(Image: Fugro)

New Tech Aids US Navy Mapping

Rapid Airborne Multibeam Mapping System (RAMMS), showcased last week during a Naval Oceanography event held at Southern Mississippi’s Marine Research Center, has resulted in improved maritime domain awareness for the US Navy, and demonstrates the value of federal investments in private-sector research, development and commercialization efforts.RAMMS is based on Areté’s Pushbroom Imaging Littoral Lidar System (PILLS), an airborne seabed mapping capability developed through a US Navy Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. One of the primary yet challenging goals of SBIR

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