2019 Technology Demonstration

Mission Logs

Follow along as participants in the cruise provide updates and reflections on their experiences, the science, the technology, and other elements of the expedition.

  • Rediscovering USS Baldwin

    July 31, 2019  |  By Jan Albiez, Robert Schwemmer, Hans Van Tilburg, and Michael White

    Image from ROV Deep Discoverer of the ship gun fire-control system with base of antenna array and with cylindrical range finder located above the pilot house.
    3D high-resolution point cloud of the ship gun fire-control system with cylindrical rangefinder.

    Bow facing south and lying straight up, the World War II-era USS Baldwin remained silently on the seafloor until July 27, 2019, when a team lead by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research was able to use remotely operated vehicles and the Kraken SeaVision® laser scanner to image and document the wreck site.

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  • Kraken Robotic’s SeaVision®

    July 30, 2019  |  By Jan Albiez

    High-resolution 3D point cloud rendering of the scanned bubblegum coral.

    Kraken Robotic’s SeaVision® is a compact underwater laser imaging system that offers the resolution, range, and scan rate to deliver dense 3D point cloud images of subsea infrastructure with millimeter resolution in real time. The system is designed for deployment on underwater robotic platforms such as remotelyo perated vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

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  • Low-Power Navigation for Fleets of Underwater Robots

    July 29, 2019  |  By Mike Jakuba, Jim Partan, and LCDR Chris Dolan

    Illustration of a glider equipped with a one-way-travel-time inverted ultra-short-baseline tranducer.

    On this expedition, we are testing a low-power navigation system with a long-term goal of enabling remote robotic exploration of the global mid-ocean ridge.

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  • Unknown Shipwreck South of Nantucket

    July 27, 2019  |  By Rod Mather

    Synthetic aperture sonar image of the USS Bass collected using the towed KATFISH system.

    During the first leg of the 2019 Technology Demonstration, the team on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer used Kraken Robotics/ThayerMahan's towed KATFISH™ with synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) to image a previously unidentified shipwreck south of Nantucket.

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  • Seafloor Mapping: Setting the Stage for Future Exploration

    July 26, 2019  |  By Elizabeth "Meme" Lobecker

    Shipwreck shown colored by slope, indicating surrounding seabed is generally flat with slopes of up to seven degrees.

    Situated on the continental shelf break, 70 nautical miles south of Block Island, Rhode Island, an unknown shipwreck rests in 350 meters (1,150 feet) of water at the head of Block Canyon, a popular location for commercial and recreational fishing. The wreck was mapped using NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer’s EM 302 30 kHz multibeam sonar in 2011. Now these data will be used to guide Deep Discoverer (D2) and Seirios as they dive on this wreck on July 27, 2019, and map it in fine resolution using the Kraken Robotics SeaVision® 3D laser imaging system mounted on D2.

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  • Seafloor Mapping with the REMUS 600 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

    July 25, 2019  |  By Mike Annis, Rob Downs, Lt John Kidd, and Alex Ligon

    Alex Ligon, Lt John Kidd, and Mike Annis of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey plan how to launch and recover the REMUS 600 AUV while the Okeanos Explorer is pierside in Norfolk, Virginia.

    Autonomous underwater vehicles are self-propelled, untethered systems that can follow pre-programmed survey instructions without operator intervention. NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey uses both small and midsized AUVs to complement conventionally staffed survey and research vessels to conduct seafloor mapping surveys in support of navigation safety and NOAA science.

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  • USS Bass

    July 25, 2019  |  By Rod Mather

    Synthetic aperture sonar image of the USS Bass collected using the towed KATFISH system.

    The USS Bass (V-2) was launched on December 27, 1924, and commissioned on September 26, 1925. At the time, the Bass was the largest submarine ever built for the U.S. Navy. During the 2019 Technology Demonstration, the team collected synthetic aperture sonar imagery of the sub on the seafloor, revealing that it is split into two parts.

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  • Data Collection and Management

    July 24, 2019  |  By Barry Eakins

    REMUS 600 AUV

    Barry Eakins is on the 2019 Technology Demonstration to learn about the data collected by two instruments: the towed KATFISH™, and the REMUS 600 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Both map the seafloor at high resolution (sub-meter scale). In particular, he wants to learn what is necessary to properly describe the data, what files would be contributed to the long-term archive, what technical challenges could be encountered, and how to assess data quality.

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  • Fishing Gear and Cultural Heritage off the East Coast

    July 23, 2019  |  By Rod Mather

    Fishing gear damage to the G-102.

    On July 20, 2019, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, as part of the 2019 Technology Demonstration, mapped the sunken bow of the USS Murphy, a highly-decorated World War II destroyer, using the Kraken Robotics KATFISH™ synthetic aperture sonar. The high-resolution images of the Murphy immediately revealed evidence of a historic accident. At some point in the recent past, a scallop dragger hit the wreck and lost its gear.

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  • Exploring the USS Murphy

    July 22, 2019  |  By Michael White

    Synthetic aperture sonar image of the bow section of the USS Murphy that sunk after the collision, lying on its port side.

    The USS Murphy, a World World II Benson class destroyer, saw operations ranging from the invasion of North Africa, to escort duty in the North Atlantic and the invasion of Gela, Sicily. After the end of the Sicily invasion in 1943, the Murphy returned to the United States to begin escorting convoys between the United States and the United Kingdom. Outside of New York Harbor on October 21, 1943, the Murphy was struck on the portside by the tanker Bulkoil. The forward half of the ship was sheared off and sank with 38 officers and men aboard.

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  • Synthetic Aperture Sonar Shipwreck Exploration

    July 20, 2019  |  By Rod Mather

    Synthetic aperture sonar data collected over a shipwreck site offshore of Virginia/North Carolina using the towed KATFISH™ equipped with a 180-centimeter AquaPix® MINSAS synthetic aperture sonar sensor.

    This shipwreck was mapped off the coast of Virginia/North Carolina on July 18, 2019, using the towed KATFISH™ system as part of the 2019 Technology Demonstration. It is likely a World War II freighter with evidence of degradation typical of World War II-era freighters.

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  • Synthetic Aperture Sonar

    July 18, 2019  |  By Tony Lyons

    The Kraken towed KATFISH™ with Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) on the deck of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.

    Synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) has matured substantially over the last decade and is quickly becoming a major tool for seabed imaging and mapping, providing very fine resolution and high image quality. SAS offers dramatically improved image resolution over traditional side-scan sonar imaging systems by utilizing the movement of the sonar with respect to the seafloor.

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