Sea Technology

JUN 2018

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

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24 ST | June 2018 www.sea-technology.com T he GEBCO-NF Alumni Team is one of the nine teams that have progressed to the final round of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE challenge. The international team is working toward a solution for autonomous ocean mapping operations. It was initiated and led by alumni of the Nippon Foundation/GEBCO Training Program at the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping of the Uni- versity of New Hampshire. The alumni worked closely with partners Ocean Floor Geophysics Inc. (OFG), Hush Craft Ltd., Teledyne CARIS and Earth Analytic, as well as equipment supplier Kongsberg Maritime AS, to develop and advance the team concept. The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition aims to push the boundaries of ocean technologies by gener- ating solutions to the grand challenge of mapping our oceans through incentivized competition. The competi- tion encourages the development of platforms for ocean exploration that can demonstrate the combination of ca- pabilities critical to expanding discovery of the world's oceans: improved autonomy, faster speeds and the abili- ty to explore at significant depths. The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Round One chal- lenge was to develop a complete system that could map 100 sq. km in 16 hr. at 5-m horizontal resolution grid and produce images that would excite the general pub- lic. The designated survey area for the XPRIZE challenge could be up to 50 nautical miles (nm) offshore, and oper- ations had to be remotely coordinated from a land-based operations center. The entire mapping system had to fit into a standard 40-ft. shipping container. The GEBCO-NF Alumni Team concept was to lever- age existing technologies wherever possible and to in- tegrate them to achieve the competition requirements. The strategic approach was to develop strong partner- ships with technology and service providers to address the hardware, integration and software needs of the team. The concept was a two-vehicle system: an AUV and USV to autonomously map the seafloor in a wide Novel AUV Launch, Recovery New Approaches Using Combined USV-AUV Method By Dr. Rochelle Wigley • Dr. Alison Proctor • Benjamin Simpson Photo Credit: Alex DeCiccio SEA-KIT USV Maxlimer during sea trials in Horten, Norway.

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