Sea Technology

NOV 2013

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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(Top) U.S. Navy MK 18 Mod 2 on a mine countermeasure mission in Bahrain, May 2013, aboard an 11-meter rigid hull infatable boat. (Middle) MK 18 Mod 2 being deployed off of a U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet rigid hull infatable boat in Bahrain, May 2013. (Bottom) MK 18 Mod 1 was the vehicle type used by the U.S. Navy's Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 to search for a crashed F-16 fghter jet off the coast of Virginia in August 2013. the point of need. The vehicle's standard sensor loadout for seafoor mapping and salvage missions includes side scan sonar and a downward-looking camera, which together 24 st / November 2013 provide both visual images and sonar bathymetric data. According to a press release from the U.S. Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2, beginning on August 6, 2013, MDSU 2 searched more than 10 square miles of the ocean bottom using towed and AUV-mounted side scan sonar. The wreckage of the downed plane was successfully located approximately 3 miles from the point of the midair incident, and divers from the MDSU Area Search Platoon (ASP) began surface-supplied diving operations on August 16. Using data collected by the REMUS AUV, divers from MDSU ASP were able to signifcantly decrease the number of dives necessary to recover key debris from the seafoor. The fight data recorder (or "black box"), a critical piece of equipment for determining the cause of the crash, was successfully recovered by divers on August 17, the day after diving began. Larger pieces of wreckage were brought to the surface using a ship-mounted basket. Thanks to the accurate seafoor mapping performed in part by the REMUS AUV, divers were able to complete their recovery operations on August 19, only three days after diving began. The recovered pieces of the aircraft were then transferred to another location for further examination. The effciency gains that the MK 18 Mod 1 REMUS 100 AUV provides for U.S. Navy recovery and salvage has had an important impact. Salvaged wrecks of military aircraft provide information for U.S. military engineers and contractors that allow them to improve designs and prevent future loss of equipment, increasing effciency across the organization. Additionally, data collected by AUVs allow salvage divers to signifcantly reduce the number and duration of dives necessary to recover the critical pieces of a wreck,

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