Woods Hole Explores the Deep with Unique Rope
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
(WHOI), the largest independent institution of its kind in the world, recently began developing a new piston corer for retrieving sediments from the ocean floor. Once complete in 2006, the deep-water coring system will be the largest in the U.S. and among the biggest in the world.
The corer’s enormous weight — 25,000 pounds — coupled with the environmental demands associated with working in water up to 20,000 ft. deep presented major technical challenges to the system required to lower the corer to the sea floor then recover it, along with its ancient sediment samples.
Located in Cape Cod, Mass., the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to research and higher education at the frontiers of ocean science. Its primary mission is to develop and effectively communicate a fundamental understanding of the processes and characteristics governing how the oceans function and how they interact with the Earth as a whole.
The institute’s new piston corer will be able to penetrate up to 160 ft. into the ocean floor, giving scientists a view of hundreds of thousands or even millions of years of climate and ocean history.
In the past, research vessels like those used by WHOI and other ships engaged in activities ranging from drilling to deep-water salvage typically used steel ropes to lift heavy objects. The new mission required new technology, particularly in the rope used and its ability to deploy and recover the massive corer while providing long and satisfactory life.
To support the 25,000-pound coring system and withstand the environmental demands presented by deep-water exploration, WHOI selected a custom braided, synthetic fiber rope from Puget Sound Rope, a unit of the Cortland Companies. The rope will be based on Puget Sound Rope’s Plasma 12 x 12-strand, which uses Spectra polyethylene fiber from Honeywell Specialty Materials, as well as other products and technologies, to gain its incredible strength and other attributes. Spectra fiber, pound for pound, is 10 times stronger than steel.
Once completed, WHOI’s rope will be nearly 23,000 ft. (7,000 m) long and, while just two inches in diameter, will be able to lift more than 350,000 pounds. The corer will be installed on the 279-ft. research vessel Knorr, which is owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by WHOI.
The Knorr and its 2,700 sq. ft. of floating laboratory space are scheduled to begin work with the new piston corer in 2006.
VideoRays Used in Unique Under Ice Search
VideoRay was recently involved in an unprecedented search using multiple VideoRay micro-ROVs in extreme conditions. The three-day search took place from January 9-11 on the frozen St. Lois River in Duluth, Minn.
Jim King the owner of Spirit Lake Marina off the St. Louis River fell out of his rear-tiller motorboat while marking the location of buoys on October 25, 2004. Since the accident there has been an ongoing search with no successful results largely because of large area and lack of witnesses who could identify a ‘point last seen’.
Since the accident the St. Louis County Sheriffs office has logged more than 3,000 hours of search time.
The latest effort to recover Mr. King’s body came in January when the St. Louis County Sheriffs office organized a massive and unique search. The search occurred on the St. Louis River which was frozen over more than 15 inches.
Eight VideoRay micro-ROVs were used for the search. The Sheriffs office developed a search grid covering a square half mile area.
Six identical micro-ROVs were operated simultaneously from portable ice houses on the frozen river, each equipped with a Desert Star Pilot positioning system to track the ROVs and transmit the data wirelessly to the command center about a half mile from the tracking station.
“As far as we know, this is the first time in the world anyone has had this many ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) together to search for a body,” said Tom Crossmon of the St. Louis County Rescue Squad. Crossmon also said the worldwide ROV community is small; when they e-mailed members looking for advice, no one said they had encountered such a large recovery operation.
“The result of the search was better than expected – we were able to search a large section of the river. We did not find the body – but we know far better where it is not located. We also learned that sonar was a critical tool in this kind of search due to the severely restricted visibility of the water. We recommend that VideoRay owners use the new “performance tether” when operating in this kind of high current environment, since it has much less drag, and with multiple holes and shallow water we did not need to use very long sections of tether. Finally, the positioning system was key to making sure that the areas searched were the areas we expected” stated McCauley.
RV Dyson Outfitted with Simrad
Simrad, Inc. of Lynnwood, Wash., recently outfitted RV Dyson with a full complement of state-of-the-art fish location and monitoring equipment. Among the array of sophisticated electronics available to researchers is a split-beam Simrad EK60 Scientific Echo Sounder. This new-generation fisheries research tool operates on four frequencies (18 kHz, 38 kHz, 120 kHz and 200 kHz) and is designed to provide accurate echo sounding, data storage, data analysis and reporting of results. The vessel also includes a Simrad SM2000 Multibeam Echo Sounder, specially engineered for bathymetric survey and vertical water column target detection.
RV/Dyson was also outfitted with a Simrad FS20/25 Trawl Sonar system that provides the bridge with real-time images of fish targets and net operation. This is augmented by Simrad’s ITI Wireless Trawl Positioning and Monitoring System, which uses small battery-powered sensors mounted on the trawl to transmit important information to the bridge. With this sophisticated equipment, researchers can monitor the exact position of the vessel’s gear as well as what is happening in and around the trawl.
Completing the RV/Dyson’s Simrad electronics package is an ES60 Commercial Echo Sounder.
Reson Debuts SeaBat 7128 Sonar
Reson expanded its product line with the SeaBat 7128, a new Multibeam Forward Looking Sonar. The SeaBat 7128 is a single and/or dual frequency (200/400 kHz) system and is available in depth ratings of 400 or 6,000 m. The system has been specifically designed for incorporation in a variety of platforms, from surface vessel, ROV or AUV. The SeaBat 7128 focused ultra-narrow beams, high ping rate and high bandwidth combine to provide the user with superior resolution at effective long ranges. Orders have been received from Lockheed Martin Perry, as well as NAVSEA Coastal Systems Station.
C&C Technologies Performs COE Survey at Key West
C & C Technologies is performing pre-dredge and post-dredge, quality assurance (QA) hydrographic surveys for the Jacksonville District of the Corps of Engineers, as a sub-consultant to Johnson–McAdams Survey & Mapping, LLC. The objective of the survey is to provide geo-referenced multibeam data, which is used to determine the progress of Bean-Stuyvesant’s 12.8-cu.-yd. yard BH Dredge, MARICAVOR, working on the Key West Harbor, Florida, dredging project.
The deliverables include color-coded plots of the acceptance areas. The charts are color coded to indicate channel bottom materials that are above project grade, below project grade, above allowable over-depth grade, and areas below over-depth grade. Volume computations are determined for each of these categories of channel bottom.
The survey is being performed using C&C’s R/V Inland Surveyor equipped with an EM 3002 multibeam echosounder, navigation computers, C-Nav RTK GPS and Hypack volume computation software. “To date, the project has been extremely successful,” said Frank Lipari, C&C ‘s Government Contracts Manager. “We expect to continue to support the project’s quality assurance needs over the next year, until completion of the dredging operations.”
Norwegian Navy Selects Triton Imaging
Software to Process HUGIN 1000 Data
The Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) purchased Triton Imaging’s Fusion-Office software to perform post-mission processing of multibeam and sidescan data from the HUGIN 1000 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Triton’s software is in operation on-board the Oksoy Class mine warfare vessel, KNM Karmoy. The Karmoy is currently performing EOD missions in the Baltic Sea as part of NATO's immediate reaction force MCMFORNORTH.
Marine Sonic Offers Next Generation of SHARPS
Marine Sonic Technology working in partnership with Hermetic Sciences, delivered components of the next generation Sonic High Accuracy Ranging and Positioning System (SHARPS) to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. SHARPS is being used for positioning and control of the 6,500 m Jason/Medea ROV during missions where very high resolution position information is required.
ACR Introduces ThunderBird SSAS
Designed to meet security requirements as required through the Maritime Transportation Security Act
(MTSA) for all SOLAS vessels engaged in international voyages, ACR's new ThunderBird SSAS will allow captains and crews to notify law enforcement and military agencies of onboard security problems anywhere in the world. The Thunderbird S.S.A.S. is lightweight at just 1.9 lbs (.861 kg) and measures 7.5 x 4.25 x 3.62 in (36.8 x 10.8 x 9.2 cm).
New Simplified VDR
Kelvin Hughes achieved Type Approval from QinetiQ for its MantaDigital Simplified Voyage Data Recorder S-VDR. Kelvin Hughes claims it is the only S-VDR that is completely designed and manufactured within a single organization. Testing of the Kelvin Hughes’ S-VDR was successfully concluded and a certificate issued last week. The new rules, approved by the IMO this month, stipulate that existing cargo ships on international voyages shall be fitted with an S-VDR as follows:
-- 20,000 gross tonnage and upwards constructed before 1 July 2002, at the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2006 but not later than 1 July 2009.
-- 3,000 gross tonnage and upwards but less than 20,000 gross tonnage constructed before 1 July 2002, at the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2007 but not later than 1 July 2010
MSC Security System Available to Commercial Market
Beach Panel & Controls, Inc. has developed access-control perimeter security systems for Military Support Command vessels. The same technology, developed in 2003, is now available for commercial vessels. The shipboard security modules are engineered to enhance and expand the ability to detect and alarm crew of unauthorized boarding or tampering with secure areas. The electronic system allows crew members to monitor selected locations simultaneously throughout the ship. The fully-integrated system works on a touch screen that combines real-time video surveillance, alarms at points of entry, hull perimeter lighting and audible warning systems to alert the crew of encroachments and unauthorized breaches. All components are recorded to provide a complete alarm history.
ARTI Offers the Rescue Shuttle
Advanced Rescue Technologies Inc. (ARTI) offers the Rescue Shuttle, designed for first-response users: search and rescue, fire, police, hospital, and military applications, plus a variety of uses in the mining and shipping industries. The Rescue Shuttle is a patient transportation device that goes beyond the capabilities of the stretcher or wire basket. The Rescue Shuttle provides a safe, warm, comfortable environment for the patient. It protects patients from the elements regardless of the recovery scenario: marine rescues, mineshaft extractions, aerial evacuations, limited access accident scenes, mountain/snow and rugged terrain rescues, etc. The Model 5000 is a Biological/Chemical Containment Unit and is the only device of its kind with the ability to enclose a biologically or chemically infected patient inside the shuttle.
Side Scan Systems Drive EdgeTech Business
EdgeTech Marine’s 4200-FS Dual Mode Side Scan System offers two software selectable modes of operation: High Definition Mode (HDM) for superior resolution and High Speed Mode (HSM) for dual pulse operation at up to 10 knots. An added feature for the 4200-FS is its ability to get good resolution target data at over 200m per side on the high frequency. The 4200-FS has the ability to run over 6000m of coax cable and can be towed at above five knots without having to use a depressor.
ShipSecure Hatch & Door Security System
Marine Marketing’s latest product is ShipSecure, a door & hatch Security Aboard Vessels system. Designed to maintain control and logs of authorized personnel entry and exit from all ship’s doors and hatches in an environment where, for safety reasons, such doors and hatches cannot be locked. Authorized crew members or personnel are allowed entry by proximity sensing cards or fobs carried on their person. Unauthorized entry by persons not in possession of authorized proximity sensing cards or fobs sound audible alarms and display breeched door in pilot house.
The heart of the ShipSecure Ship Security System is a small GE control circuit board treated with a four mil (4 step process) coating of Conformal silicone and further marine sealed in a NEMA4X enclosure. The mounting location of this control circuitry is not important except it should be mounted in a central location to the installation of the magnetic door sensors and smart proximity readers to eliminate lengthy runs of connecting wire. Mounted in the vessel pilot station will be a small KeyPad with LCD display.
New EGIS Defender Explosives Trace Detection System
Thermo Electron Corporation unveiled the new EGISDefender, a next generation explosives trace detection system. The EGIS Defender combines Thermo’s patented high-speed gas chromatography (HSGC) with Micro Differential Ion Mobility Spectrometry (microDMx). The combination of Thermo’s HSGC and Sionex’s microDMx technologies enable the EGIS Defender to simultaneously detect plastic, commercial and military explosives, TATP, HMTD, and enhanced AN-FO as well as International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) marker compounds and narcotics with the highest degree of sensitivity.
Due to this highly flexible dual technology platform, one of the EGIS Defender’s most significant features is its ability to respond to new and emerging threats through future software upgrades.
EM 3002 Multibeam on NOAA ‘R/V Gloria Michelle’
The United States of America National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), has awarded a contract to Kongsberg Maritime, Inc. for the supply and installation of suite of survey and positioning equipment and software for the NOAA R/V Gloria Michelle. The package includes an EM 3002 (Single) Multibeam Sounding System including Operator Station Software (SIS), MRU-6 Motion Reference Unit, Seapath 20 Heading Reference Unit, Kongsberg bathymetric post-processing software and Echoview water column post-processing software.
Multibeam water column imaging
The new multibeam echo sounder, EM 3002, extends the functionality of multibeam echo sounders to cover 3-D imaging of biomass and other acoustic reflectors that might be present in the water column. 160 acoustic beams are sampled digitally with a spatial resolution of 15cm for each ping, creating a digital image of a slice of the water mass under the transducer. When the ship is sailing forward, a 3-D description can be obtained by combining the images from several pings. The raw display image is available as part of the operator interface.
Deep Development Debuts Viperfish
Deep Development Corporation introduces Viperfish® Land a high performance shock and vibration proof digital recorder that converts analog video to digital format. The result is clear, crisp, non-jerky and non-multiplexed video.
Key features include high resolution 720 x 486 pixels with a full speed 30 frames per second. Scalable to 640 x 480 plus record and view simultaneously.
Product applications include marine research, transportation, government security, rugged mobile top side projects, bridge inspection, surveying, search and rescue. Law Enforcement applications may involve weapon identification, equipment vehicles and insurance frauds.
IXSEA Signs French Navy Deal
iXSea signed a €1.5m contract with DCN (Direction des Constructions Navales) on behalf of the French Navy. This contract is the second part of a large contract signed last year and will involve equipping OCTANS and PHINS products for navigational and combat systems on different types of French Navy surface vessels. With over 30 years experience in cutting edge technologies, a dozen key patents to its credit, iXSea has developed a successful relationship with the defence market, serving the international naval industry with turnkey system solutions based on COTS products. For the past four years OCTANS has been installed on French nuclear submarines.
NRC Canada Chooses Gavia AUV
Hafmynd and Gavia AUV Corp announced that the Canadian Research Council has recently placed an order for a Gavia AUV to fulfil their requirement for a multi mission capable Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. The NRC plans on using their Gavia in two main applications: an inspection vehicle for potable water pipes and a test bed vehicle for newly developed sensors and actuators, free-swimming experiments and hydrographic mapping in lakes and oceans.
BIRNS M24231 Connectors
BIRNS now produces Type I molded cable plugs in accordance with USA Military Specification MIL-C-24231D(SH), commonly known as "Portsmouth" connectors. BIRNS also produces GPS
-frequency coaxial connectors, and certain "advanced" connector systems designed to obviate problems often associated with standard M24231 and/or EB 3004 models.
SonicWorks Underwater Ship Hull Inspection System
With concerns of security, the in-water inspection process performed by a SonicWorks Inspection system combines the company's proprietary APNS precision positioning and robotic control system with SonicWorks' patented "Motion Compensation System" to provide a vehicle equipped with hull contouring technology that will produce a full hull (100% in water) in a matter of hours. A surface crew of three with one diver on-call will operate the system allowing true robotic hull contouring and inspections. The SonicWorks' Inspection System yields data that will aid significantly in the inspection for and detection of ordinance and contraband.
Schilling Robotics Opens Houston Office
Schilling Robotics, a leader in subsea equipment, opened a regional office in Houston earlier this year.
The Houston office joins Schilling Robotics’ headquarters in Davis, Calif. and the North Sea regional office in Aberdeen, U.K. to provide worldwide service to the offshore energy industry.
“Since Houston is central to one of the world’s major offshore oil regions, we look forward to providing on-the-ground, personal service to our customers in the area,” said Jason Stanley, Schilling Robotics vice president and regional manager. The office address is: Schilling Robotics—Gulf of Mexico, 11757 Katy Freeway, Suite 1300, Houston, Texas 77079-1725.
DeepOcean Offers Phantom ROV
The Phantom 150E from DeepOcean is a portable ROV designed for potable water and NDT inspections, small retrieval in confined areas and for rugged use in interactive exhibits. Phantom XTL owners can operate the 150E using their existing console and an intermediate Power Management Box.