Friday, 8 April 2011

AUV Treasures

Enjoyed a geeky day at Ocean Business on Wed. I had some business to conduct and valued the opportunity to be out of the office in what I consider to be a rich learning environment. Not only are there lots of gadgets to see, there are contacts both new and old to meet; providing oodles of tit bits into the world of hydrography and the broader marine world.

Spent some time talking with colleagues at NOC (National Oceanographic Centre) about their glider programme. I then got the best invitation of the day from a chap which was "do you want to come and see my big toys?" So we went down to one of the NOC labs and he gave me a whistle stop tour of their AUVs, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. Not to be muddled, of course, with UAVs, Unmanned Aeronautical Vehicles.

They have three AUVs at NOC. Their first could only disappear for 4 days or so before the battery ran out.

The second would last at least twice as long and was rechargeable. It can dive to 6000m.

And their latest and greatest can travel 6000km, dive to 6000m and potentially last 6 months without a battery refresh/recharge. Impressive.

I chatted to CARIS about their oceanographic charting capacity (developing...), Lockhead Martin about their Sippican XBTs and XSVs, Fugro Pelagos about emerging geospatial opportunities,
Ferry Box, Shark, about their underwater technology, OSIL about equipment support etc. You can see the fun I had can't you?

Only a year until the next one now...Oceanology 2012.

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