Sea Technology

JAN 2018

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

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Page 38 of 52

38 ST | January 2018 we can do more to make the ocean transparent, and we must ensure the ocean technology community has the resources to continue innovating. Ocean transmissivity is how we transmit information in the ocean–largely by sound, conductors and (lim- ited-range) light. We must develop and implement the technology to build the "ocean Internet" per se. A chal- lenging concept to be sure, but, then again, the Internet and wireless networks were largely nonexistent 25 years ago. What sort of new developments in ocean physics and technology will bring about such a revolution? On- going research into areas such as quantum physics and fluid particle behavior just might hold the key. Using ocean data to improve the intensity forecasts of hurricanes; AUVs to aid in search and rescue opera- tions in the deep sea; marine renewables to broaden the nation's available energy portfolio; ocean-based phar- macology advances to improve human health; real-time mapping to enable safe military and business operations; and sustainable recreation above, on and under the sur- face of the ocean are all part of ocean security that COL and the ocean science and technology community are working toward. I believe that we can't even begin to en- vision the highly advanced understanding and utilization of our healthy and sustainable ocean in 50 years, but I know it will only be realized through the amazing ocean science and technology we are investing in today. ST Review&Forecast The Offshore Energy Industry May Have Found Its Trump Card By Randall Luthi President The National Ocean Industries Association T he National Ocean In- dustries Association (NOIA) and its members understand that energy im- proves the lives of every American every day. Thanks to the hard work and innova- tion of the oil and gas indus- try, the United States leads the world in oil and gas pro- duction. Instead of being de- pendent on OPEC or Russia, U.S. consumers can depend on American energy, and American values, to fill most of their energy needs. The oil and gas industry is a bastion of American en- ergy security and productivity, in spite of taking a beating in 2017. As oil prices hung around the $50 per barrel mark, the offshore sector continued to shed jobs. While no one knows for certain when the oil and gas market will recover, some prognosticators target 2018 for an up- swing. What we do know, however, is that the current administration understands the importance of a healthy and robust offshore oil and gas industry and realizes that NOSB engages high schoolers around the country, challenging their knowledge of ocean-related topics and creating a science- and ocean-literate society. The 2017 theme, "Blue Energy–Powering the Planet with our Ocean," increased awareness and understanding of the ocean's role in providing marine renewable energy, in- cluding challenges to implementation and potential im- pacts to ecosystems. Economic Security. Our annual industry forum ad- dressed economic and energy security from a different angle. "Rigs to Reality: Determining the Fate of Offshore Oil Platforms" convened cross-sector stakeholders with a shared interest in science-based decision making deter- mining the future of decommissioned oil platforms while considering ocean environment benefits and minimizing associated costs to taxpayers and industry. Participants from industry, government, nonprofits and academia identified knowledge gaps needed to inform decision making, which will ultimately ensure the best actions (considering habitat, ecosystems and cost) are undertak- en regarding these structures. Ocean Observations. Every aspect of ocean security relies on a foundation of science, making ocean observa- tions critical. The National Science Foundation-funded, COL-managed Ocean Observatories Initiative continues to collect and share (for free and in near real time) ocean observations through its system of arrays and platforms in the Atlantic and Pacific. Likewise, the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC) integrates observing sys- tems across agencies, institutions and nations through activities such as the U.S. Underwater Glider Workshop, where stakeholders discussed strategies for enhanced co- ordination of underwater glider activities. In 2018, COL will continue incorporating ocean se- curity into our work, helping to ensure a secure future for our ocean and ourselves. What COL is (and has been) do- ing for the last decade already aligns with this idea. What we are redoubling, however, are our efforts to make sure this is understood, so that every American, whether in California or Idaho, whether a farmer, financial analyst or member of Congress, can answer the question of why the ocean matters in his or her everyday life. I've been particularly struck by the role of technology, which re- lates to all facets of ocean security. Specifically, ocean transparency and ocean transmissivity and how we can advance these concepts. Ocean transparency is our ability to see the ocean, though not just visually. Centuries ago, humans had no idea what was in the water beyond what they could see with their eyes–it was full of mystical creatures like krakens and mermaids. But as we started to explore the ocean, mythology gave way to fact–krakens were actual- ly giant squids and mermaids were manatees. Now, we're able to see into the ocean with more than just our eyes. Satellite data along multiple spectra show the location of physical ocean features and marine life, environmental DNA identifies and quantifies organism presence based on seawater samples, and sonar and LiDAR map the sea- floor. Given the ongoing, rapid advent of new sensing technology and miniaturization and low-cost replication,

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