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Monday, January 22, 2018

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution News

US Research Ships Ready to Cast Off in 2015

Arctic-bound Sikuliaq (Photo: U.S. National Science Foundation)

Two new U.S. research vessels are going full steam ahead: the U.S. National Science Foundation will formally commission its Arctic-bound Sikuliaq, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Neil Armstrong will begin science operations. Live Science reports that two new U.S. research ships will take to the seas in the Arctic and Atlantic in 2015, allowing scientists around the world to explore the geology, biology and health of the oceans. The ocean researchers said that the U.S. National Science Foundation has commissioned the Arctic research vessel Sikuliaq.

El Faro’s Voyage Data Recorder Located

Voyage data recorder next to El Faro mast on ocean floor (Photo: NTSB)

The voyage data recorder (VDR) belonging to sunken cargo ship El Faro was found early Tuesday morning in 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced. A specialist team comprised of investigators and scientists from the NTSB, the U.S. Coast Guard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Tote Services, the owner and operator of El Faro, located the VDR using remotely operated undersea search equipment. Video footage showing El Faro's VDR is available here. At about 1 a.m.

Navy Research Vessel Is Named Neil Armstrong

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the nation’s newest research vessel will be named the R/V Neil Armstrong, after the renowned astronaut and the first man to set foot on the moon. The ship will be operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). “We are honored,” said WHOI President and Director Susan Avery. “Neil Armstrong is an American hero, whose ‘small step’ provided humanity with a new perspective on our planet. When he stood on the moon and looked back at the Earth, he saw mostly ocean – the last unexplored frontier on Earth. Armstrong was a Navy fighter pilot who flew 78 combat missions during the Korean War, before moving to NASA’s predecessor agency as an engineer and test pilot, and later an astronaut and administrator.

High-Tech Survey of Rare Deep Coral Reefs

The Waitt Institute for Discovery and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have joined forces to launch the Catalyst Program, making available for the first time a versatile and highly portable deep-sea tool kit and operations team, which can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world. This unprecedented collaboration features the Waitt Institute's two newly built Hydroid REMUS 6000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), which can explore depths of up to 6000 meters, or 3.7 miles, below the ocean's surface. These innovative multi-sensor platforms are equipped with high-tech survey instruments capable of recording critical oceanographic data, photo-imaging deep-sea features, and producing detailed sonar maps of the ocean floor.

James Cameron Gifts 'Deepsea Challenger' to Woods Hole

Cameron & Avery: Photo credit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The Explorer and filmmaker James Cameron partners with Woods Hole Oceanographic Intitution to accelerate  technology development. The partnership aims to stimulate advances in ocean science and technology and build on the historic breakthroughs of the 2012 Cameron-led Deepsea Challenge expedition exploring deep-ocean trenches. The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of Cameron's unprecedented solo dive to 35,787 feet, almost 11,000 meters, to the deepest place on Earth - the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench - in the vertically-deployed vehicle he and his team engineered…

Axia Announces Sale of Hydroid

Axia Capital Partners, LP, announced that it has completed the sale of the assets and business of Hydroid to , a division of Kongsberg Gruppen, for approximately $80m and an earn-out based on Hydroid's 2008 and 2009 operating performance. Hydroid is a manufacturer and supplier of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) for military and commercial markets worldwide. The company was established in 2001 to manufacture, support and further develop the REMUS Autonomous Vehicle Technology, originally developed and licensed through an exclusive license with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Axia invested in Hydroid in December 2005 when Hydroid's revenues approximated $7.5 million. Hydroid's 2007 sales approximated $20 million and is projecting strong revenue growth in the coming years.

Polar Expedition Vessel the Sunken 'S.S. Terra Nova' Discovered

SS Terra Nova: Photo credit Wiki CCL

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s flagship 'R/V Falkor' locates the wreck of historic exploration ship off the coast of Greenland. During routine functional performance testing of the mutibeam mapping echosounders on the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s flagship R/V Falkor, the team aboard — including researchers from the University of New Hampshire, Ifremer, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution — discovered the S.S. Terra Nova, a whaler, sealer and polar exploration ship that sunk off the southern coast of Greenland in September, 1943, after being damaged by ice.

Moog Supplies Camera System for WHOI Research Vessel

Photo: WHOI

Moog Inc. Space and Defense Group has supplied the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) with a new, rugged camera system for launch and recovery of the Alvin submarine aboard the research vessel Atlantis II. The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command mandates that the crew of Atlantis II be able to see the latch pin, which is part of the launch and recovery system (LARS) for use with Alvin. When WHOI upgraded and returned its Alvin submarine to service, the submarine’s size obscured the view of the latch pin from the “doghouse…

US Navy to Name Research Vessel in Honor of Neil Armstrong

Name Enscription on Keel Plate: Photo credit Dept of Defense

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announces that the first Armstrong-class Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research (AGOR) ship will be named 'Neil Armstrong'. Mabus named the future R/V Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27) to honor the memory of Neil Armstrong, best known for being the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong was an aeronautics pioneer and explorer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) serving as an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator. Armstrong also served as a naval aviator flying nearly 80 combat missions during the Korean War.

Ferry Being Used for Research

According to reports, a ferry that travels several times daily between Woods Hole and Martha's Vineyard is now doubling as a research vessel that measures water quality and photographs plankton on its trips. Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution fitted the 235-ft. Katama with sensors that measure water temperature, salinity, oxygen, chlorophyll and water clarity, the Cape Cod Times reported. The sensors also photograph the plankton 30 times per second. The Nantucket Sound Ferry Scientific Environmental Monitoring System began in May. Scott Gallager, a biologist at Woods Hole, said the results will be studied over many years to better understand how water quality and ocean life change in Nantucket Sound, which hosts a diverse mix marine line.

Land Joins WHOI as General Counsel, VP for Legal Affairs

Chris Land (Photo: WHOI)

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has appointed Christopher Land to be its General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs. Land assumes his post on March 3. As general counsel, Land will provide advice, opinions and representation on all areas of law affecting the Institution. Among his duties will be engaging in Institution strategy and business development; providing counsel and advice concerning compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations affecting research and higher education organizations; and negotiating, drafting and reviewing contracts.

Search Resumes for El Faro Data Recorder

The National Transportation Safety Board is set to resume its search April 18, 2016, for the vessel data recorder of the sunken El Faro cargo ship. The U.S. flagged El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1, 2015. All 33 of the El Faro’s crew perished in the accident. The mission for the second search is to retrieve the ship’s vessel data recorder and better document the wreckage to help determine exactly why and how the ship sank. The second search is being conducted in cooperation with the National Science Foundation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

AGOR 27 R/V Neil Armstrong Launched

Seattle-based Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering company Guido Perla & Associates, Inc. (GPA) reports that the launching ceremony of the AGOR 27 R/V Neil Armstrong was held at Dakota Creek Industries (DCI) in Anacortes, Wash., on February 22, 2014. Construction of the complex R/V Neil Armstrong and her sister vessel AGOR 28 R/V Sally Ride, also well under way at DCI, have progressed according to plan, meeting original schedule and cost baselines. Throughout the engineering and construction process of both vessels…

Navy Research Vessel Launched with Siemens Propulsion

February 22 marked the launch of Neil Armstrong, the first of two Navy oceanographic research vessels to be launched with Siemens Blue multi-drive low voltage system. Neil Armstrong was launched in Anacortes, Washington. Siemens said the use of Siemens Blue improves the vessels reliability due to failsafe features that help the vessel owner lower maintenance costs, increase efficiency and improve operational ease for the vessel and crew. The ship’s advance design decreases fuel consumption, resulting in reduced emission of harmful greenhouse gases. Siemens provided the main generators, main propulsion and thruster motors, switchboards, power management system and automation system for alarm, monitoring and control functions.

Iron Supplements Tested as Means to Improve Ocean Health and Climate

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will host a public forum to discuss the pros and cons of “iron fertilization” of the oceans as a means to mediate global warming. The forum, entitled “Ocean Fertilization: Ironing Out Uncertainties in Climate Engineering,” is a public follow-up to an interdisciplinary science workshop conducted at WHOI in September. The free event will be held at 2:30 p.m. on October 19 in the Redfield Auditorium on Water Street in the Village of Woods Hole, MA. The discussion of iron fertilization comes in response to several recent scientific and commercial proposals to spread dissolved iron into the sea.

Keel Laying Ceremony for 2 GPA-Designed Research Vessels

Depicted: AGOR-27 advanced oceanographic rsearch vessel.

On August 17, 2012, the keel laying and dedication ceremony for AGOR-27 and 28, the first two of a new class of advanced Oceanographic Research Vessels, took place at Dakota Creek Industries (DCI) in Anacortes, WA. Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering firm Guido Perla & Associates, Inc. (GPA) designed this vessel during a Phase I design competition. GPA is now providing detail and production engineering for DCI throughout the construction phase. The $145 million Navy-owned vessels…

PlanetSolar Continues Scientific Voyage in North Atlantic

Photo: Anthony Collins

After several days of waiting for favorable weather, the MS Tûranor Planet Solar, the largest solar boat in the world, left the city of Boston, carrying three scientific team members from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), and a researcher from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the largest center of its kind in the world, with whom UNIGE is collaborating for this expedition. This important stopover in the capital of Massachusetts was crucial in the planning of the “DeepWater” expedition’s itinerary…

NOAA Accepts Delivery of New Survey Vessel

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently took delivery of Henry B. Bigelow, one of a new class of fisheries survey vessels being built under contract with VT Halter Marine Inc., in Pascagoula, Miss. Henry B. Bigelow will support NOAA research efforts in conservation and management of fisheries and marine ecosystems primarily in northeastern U.S. waters, replacing the 45-year old Albatross IV. The ship will be home ported in New England, although a permanent base has not been named. The ship will be based temporarily at Naval Station Newport, in Newport, R.I. U.S. Senator and Mrs. Judd Gregg attended the keel-laying ceremony with students from Winnacunnet High School, who submitted the winning vessel name through a NOAA educational outreach contest. Mrs.

WHOI Awards Lockheed Martin $2.8m Contract To Design RHOV

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has awarded Lockheed Martin a $2.8 million contract for the initial design of the Replacement Human Occupied Vehicle (RHOV), a next generation three-person Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) that will be used by the U.S. scientific community. The contract has an option for subsequent construction of the RHOV once the initial design is completed and the project is approved to move forward. currently operated by WHOI. Mediterranean Sea in 1966, discovering deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the late 1970s and exploring the sunken ocean liner Titanic in 1986. The enhanced design of the RHOV will provide additional space in the vehicle's personnel sphere for its complement of two scientists and a pilot…

Allied Marine Crane Outfits R/V Neil Armstrong

(Photo: Allied Marine Crane)

The U.S. Navy’s research vessel Neil Armstrong (AGOR-27), scheduled for completion this year, is equipped with a modern array of oceanographic research equipment. To handle this equipment, Allied Marine Crane, a division of Allied Systems, Co., was chosen to design and manufacture two cranes, one A-frame, one davit, two handling systems and two hydraulic power units. Allied Marine Crane equipment was specified based on their history with research equipment handling, their proven design and build capabilities, and strong working relationship with marine winch supplier Markey Machinery.

Nortek Technical Symposium 2013

Photo: Nortek

Register is now open for the 2013 Nortek Technical Symposium in San Diego, California on September 20-21, Nortek announced. This year’s event features keynote speakers from Ocean Observatories Initiative, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Attendees and presenters also include a host of other scientific researchers, engineers, system integrators and operational clients. The Nortek Technical Symposium is an opportunity for sharing industry professionals’ experiences…

WHOI, RTDC Technology Transfer Partnership

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Regional Technology Development Corp. (RTDC) of Cape Cod announced the signing of a technology transfer and entrepreneurial services agreement designed to accelerate the transfer of WHOI technology innovations to the marketplace. The alliance is an outsourcing arrangement intended to immediately and cost-effectively enhance licensing capabilities at WHOI and the commercialization of WHOI innovations and expertise. The partnership with the RTDC is the latest initiative from the WHOI Office for Applied Oceanography (OAO), established in 2007 to encourage innovation in technology, serve as a hub for WHOI licensing and commercialization efforts, and protect the institution’s intellectual property.

RV Neil Armstrong Arrives in Woods Hole

The research vessel Neil Armstrong was met by a jubilant crowd at the WHOI dock Wednesday, as it arrived to its homeport for the first time. (Photo by Daniel Cojanu, WHOI)

The research vessel Neil Armstrong arrived to its home port at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) dock for the first time Wednesday, escorted by the WHOI coastal research vessel R/V Tioga, two Coast Guard vessels and fireboats from neighboring towns. “What a wonderful day for Woods Hole, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the entire ocean science community,” enthused WHOI President and Director Mark Abbott. “We’re very proud to have been selected by the Office of Naval Research to operate the Neil Armstrong. Six years ago, the U.S.

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