Cruise Report: EX-19-04, 2019 Technology Demonstration (ROV and Mapping)
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Cruise Report: EX-19-04, 2019 Technology Demonstration (ROV and Mapping)

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  • Alternative Title:
    Cruise Report: EX-19-04, 2019 Technology Demonstration (ROV and Mapping), U.S. Northeast, Norfolk, Virginia, to Davisville, Rhode Island, July 18, 2019, to August 01, 2019
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    The 2019 Technology Demonstration expedition (EX-19-04) was conducted over 15 days at sea from Norfolk, Virginia, to Davisville, Rhode Island, and was led by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. All operations took place within U.S. waters. During EX-19-04, four technology projects were demonstrated: a Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS 600 (REMUS 600) autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) in partnership with the NOAA Office of Coast Survey (OCS); a towed Kraken Robotics Kraken Active Towfish (KATFISHTM) with synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) in partnership with Kraken Robotics, Inc. (Kraken) and ThayerMahan, Inc. (ThayerMahan); a one-way travel-time inverted ultra-short baseline (OWTTIUSBL) navigation system from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) mounted on remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer; and a Kraken SeaVision® laser scanner, also mounted ROV Deep Discoverer. These were deployed in addition to OER’s dual-body ROV system and suite of deepwater acoustic and mapping systems. Six ROV dives between 345 and 3,195 meters were completed, three in support of the SeaVision laser scanner, and three in support of the OWTTIUSBL. The REMUS 600 AUV completed three surveys over Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) sites and mapped over 12 km2 of previously unmapped seafloor using the AUV’s EM 3002 multibeam echosounder (MBES). The KATFISH with SAS was deployed five times over UCH sites, which led to the discovery of one new shipwreck. Over 23 km2 of SAS data were collected. Using OER telepresence technology this was the first time an onshore group was able to pilot a subsea asset. Over 7,000 km2 of seafloor were mapped using the ship’s hull mounted EM 302 MBES. The expedition collected priority data in areas identified by the ocean exploration community, discovered and confirmed new UCH sites, engaged multiple stakeholder groups, and helped OER codify its best practices with regards to public-private partnerships (PPPs). This was the first time a truly autonomous vehicle was deployed during an OER/Okeanos Explorer expedition, which enabled the mission team to leave station and complete other exploration objectives. The international onboard mission team totaled 35 scientists, operations personnel, data managers, and engineers distributed between two legs of the whole expedition. The team was comprised of personnel from private industry, higher learning institutions, multiple NOAA programs and offices, and non-for-profit organizations. Through these partnerships, OER continues to examine new and emerging ocean exploration technologies and enhance its own capabilities with existing technologies.
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