Seafloor Mapping News

Photo courtesy of Armstrong Marine

R/V Bob and Betty Beyster: New CAT For Scripps

automatically maintain heading and position, even in strong currents and windy conditions. These capabilities enable the precise control required for remotely operated vehicles, CTD casts, mooring deployments, and other operations required for science.The vessel's scientific equipment includes a seafloor mapping system, a knuckle crane that enables the vessel to deploy and recover autonomous vehicles, a stern A-frame with hydraulic hoist, a hand-deployable remotely operated vehicle, a hull-mounted transducer for underwater communications, and ample facilities for securing and integrating a wide variety

A Hugin AUV being launched (Courtesy Kongsberg)

Unmanned Vehicles: 25 Years of Milestones

many science missions including under-ice work in the Arctic and oceanography in the Antarctic. A key program supported by these vehicles, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), was known as the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network. This pioneered designs for docking AUVs. Experiments in seafloor mapping and mine hunting were also conducted during the first ten years of the AUV Lab. In 1997 Bluefin Robotics was founded to transition these ideas into industry, the first of many commercial AUV manufacturers to follow.The Odyssey technology developments touched upon all domains. The core developments

Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute

Subsea Robotics: SOI Mission Discovers New Hydrothermal Vent and Species

AUV, ROV Seafloor Mapping Systems Used on an expedition aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V FalkorSchmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor recently discovered a spectacular new hydrothermal vent field, named JaichMatt, in the Souther Pescadero Basin, Gulf of California.The vents were identified using Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institution’s (MBARI) Dorado autonomous underwater vehicle to conduct exploratory seafloor surveys with one meter lateral resolution. Simultaneously, MBARI's new Low Altitude Survey System was used from Schmidt Ocean Institute’s ROV SuBastian to map

MATE At-Sea Internship Opportunity

development.)Internship projects will vary from one cruise to another and correspond to the cruise objectives set by the lead scientists for each cruise. Previous interns have worked on cruises to support science projects ranging from chemical oceanography, marine biology, GIS/bathymetric surveys (seafloor mapping), geological studies, work with ROVs and much more! The position will last approximately six months and the intern will receive a stipend of $500 per week, plus reimbursement for travel expenses and housing - mostly aboard one of the research vessels. Many successful internships result in a

Photo: Oregon State University

Construction Starts on OSU's Research Ship

of Oregon State’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. “This research is critical to informing strategies for coastal resilience, food security, and hazard mitigation not only in the Pacific Northwest but around the world.”The ships will be equipped to conduct detailed seafloor mapping, to reveal geologic structures important to understanding processes such as subduction zone earthquakes that may trigger tsunamis. Taani will have a range of greater than 5,000 nautical miles, with berths for 16 scientists and 13 crew members, a cruising speed of 11.5 knots and a maximum speed

(Credit XPRIZE)

Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Finalists to Compete off Greece

XPRIZE competition, which challenges teams to advance ocean technologies for rapid, unmanned and high-resolution ocean exploration and discovery.In this final field-testing round starting in November and running through December, finalists competing for the $4 million grand prize will put their seafloor mapping technologies to a real-world test off Kalamata, Greece.Each team will launch and recover their autonomous underwater technologies from XPRIZE’s Mission Control in Kalamata. The competition area is approximately 500 km2 and includes a number of underwater features. Finalist teams have to

(Image: Kongsberg)

Mapping the Future

Alumni Team, USV Maxlimer is based on a brand new USV called SEA-KIT, which can carry a deployable and retrievable payload of up to 2.5 tons – in this case, a Hugin AUV from Kongsberg Maritime. It’s a unique AUV-USV concept, designed to enable more efficient, safer and cost-effective seafloor mapping operations, as well as providing a platform for numerous applications in a wide range of maritime sectors.The SEA-KIT vessel itself provides a next generation, long-range, long-endurance ocean capability that is not available today. It is able to operate without assistance for months at a time

Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Testing Altered

committed in return. We share hopes with Puerto Rico that we can resume our planning in time for a NOAA Bonus Prize test in 2018,” added Virmani.   To support the Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition, a highly qualified international and independent judging panel consisting of experts in seafloor mapping, data analysis, marine and drone technologies, and underwater discoveries has been established: Victor Abbott, Ph.D., formerly of the University of Plymouth; Aida Alvera-Azcarate, Ph.D., University of Liege; Douglas Au, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; Catherine Ball, Ph.D., Remote

Fugro Discovery (Photo: Fugro)

Fugro, AGI to Supply Seep Data to Canada

geochemical sampling, enabling clients to improve and de-risk their exploration programs. The information may also be used in a variety of further investigations such as establishing environmental baselines, evaluating seafloor geohazards and preliminary planning for field development.   The seafloor mapping will be performed by Fugro using its geophysical vessel, Fugro Discovery, and includes acquisition of 10,500 square kilometers of multibeam echo sounder data and sub-bottom profiler data. This will be followed by coring up to 150 geochemical targets and 20 heat flow measurements, complete with

Image: Kongsberg

Kongsberg Control System for New SEA-KIT USV

surface vessel being built by U.K. manufacturer Hushcraft and operated by SEA-KIT International.   SEA-KIT is a USV that can carry a deployable and retrievable payload of up to 2.5 tons. It is based on the AUV-USV concept, which could lead to more efficient, safer and cost-effective seafloor mapping operations, as well as providing a platform for numerous applications in a wide range of maritime sectors.   The SEA-KIT vessel provides a next generation, long-range, long-endurance ocean capability that does not exist today. It is able to operate without assistance for months at a time

A 3-D image from NOAA Ship Fairweather multi-beam sonar. The profile of the F/V Destination is clearly visible, including the bulbous bow to the right, the forward house and mast, equipment (likely crab pots) stacked amidships, the deck crane aft, and the skeg and rudder. (Image: NOAA)

Crab Fishing Vessel Wreck Found off Alaska

the Destination. While the ship was not able to positively identify any contacts as the Destination, it did narrow the search area.   A second survey by NOAA Ship Fairweather, a hydrographic survey vessel, was conducted on July 8 and 9. The Fairweather used its multibeam sonar, designed for seafloor mapping and object detection, to locate the Destination in approximately 250 feet of water.    With the wreckage and debris field located by NOAA ships, a U.S. Coast Guard dive team aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy will use a remotely operated vehicle to investigate the wreckage later this

ROV SuBastian on Sea Trials. (Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Creating Superior Buoyancy with Air

mission requirements.”   The SuBastain ROV is designed to go to depths of 4,500 meters, which is deeper than the average ocean depth of 3,700 meters. Trelleborg’s Eccofloat TG30 is designed for a service depth of 5,000 meters. The ROV will be suitable to support high resolution seafloor mapping, photomosaicing, video and image gathering, and collections of rocks, animals and seawater samples. It is equipped with a versatile array of power and data interfaces to enable integration of a wide range of add-on deep sea instruments and samplers that oceanographers may need to support their

(Copyright: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Folke Mehrtens)

A United Front in Ocean Observation

data sets are fundamental for monitoring these processes and understanding the complex and vast oceanic environment. In July 2016, the European Marine Board (EMB), a partnership of major national marine and oceanographic institutes in Europe, identified critical gaps within ocean observation and seafloor mapping capabilities. Their mission, along with many organizations and networks, is to unite existing ocean observing capacity and launch Europe into a time of ocean erudition.   For 20 years the EMB has provided a unique platform for the successful development of marine research policy and strategy

Pulsar sidescan sonar tow fish (Image: Kongsberg)

New Real-time SonarWiz Interface for PulSAR Sidescan Sonar

Enhanced mapping capability allows for broader use of PulSAR for hydrography and other applications.   A powerful new tool for real-time seafloor mapping is available for those using Kongsberg GeoAcoustics' PulSAR sidescan sonar thanks to a new interface with Chesapeake Technology's SonarWiz mapping software.   The new SonarWiz interface allows PulSAR users to acquire data from multiple sensors, process imagery in real time, generate state of the art mosaics, create detailed contact reports and produce sophisticated outputs leveraging a wide range of formats.   “We wanted to

SuBastian on a test dive at Santa Rosa Reef, Guam (Photo Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Schmidt Tests its New ROV in Guam

Eric and Wendy Schmidt, has designed and built. ROV SuBastian was built to meet the needs of scientists aboard Falkor, while considering the well-being of the entire marine environment. The ROV is designed to go to depths of 4,500 meters (2.8 miles), and will be suitable to support high resolution seafloor mapping, photomosaicing, video and image gathering, and collections of rocks, animals, and seawater samples. SuBastain is equipped with a versatile array of power and data interfaces to enable integration of a wide range of add-on deep sea instruments and samplers that oceanographers may need to support

Image: TerraSond

TerraSond Characterizing Offshore Sinkholes and Gas Seeps

mass spectrometer for in-situ chemical analysis eliminates the traditional issues of handling, transportation, storage and analysis of samples typically performed in a laboratory.   Given the depths and currents at this location, an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) will support the seafloor mapping and seep detection.    “We are pleased to provide this technically innovative solution to help characterize South Florida’s water supply; we enjoy the challenges of introducing new technologies,” said Scott Cholmondeley, General Manager of TerraSond’s Gulf

Global map of the variations in the pull of gravity derived from satellite radar altimetry. http://topex.ucsd.edu/grav_outreach

Evolution of Ocean Exploration: Mapping the Seafloor with Geodesy

The evolution of ocean exploration continues with seafloor mapping with Geodesy.   In an age where the surface of Mercury and Mars can be mapped in great detail, it’s difficult to imagine how around 85-95 percent of our ocean floor remain enigmatic. While advanced sonar technology has allowed ships to create highly detailed topographic maps, it would take 125-200 ship-years to survey the deep oceans alone, costing billions of dollars. Gravity models are powerful tools for charting large areas of the ocean where tectonic structures and deep ocean basins remain unmapped by ships or hidden

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