Teledyne to Acquire BlueView
Teledyne RD Instruments Inc. (Poway, California) has entered into an agreement to acquire BlueView Technologies Inc. (Seattle, Washington), Teledyne Technologies Inc. (Thousand Oaks, California) announced in May.
The closing of the transaction, which is subject to various conditions, including the approval of BlueView's shareholders, is anticipated to occur in July.
"BlueView's imaging sonars and microbathymetry systems further increase Teledyne's instrumentation content on AUVs and ROVs used in oil and gas and marine survey applications," Robert Mehrabian, chairman, president and CEO of Teledyne, said. "In addition, BlueView's 3D scanning sonars provide the underwater equivalent to the leading airborne and terrestrial lidar systems produced by Optech Inc., which is majority owned by Teledyne."
Caption: Teledyne RD Instruments headquarters in California.
Source: Teledyne RD Instruments press release
Geomatrix Now Representative for FSI
Cataumet, Massachusetts-based Falmouth Scientific Inc. (FSI) has added Geomatrix Earth Science Ltd. (Bedfordshire, England) as a manufacturer's representative, FSI said on Monday, growing FSI's group of manufacturer's representatives to 28 companies.
Earlier in 2012, Geomatrix had selected FSI's HMS-620 seismic system for use in a commercial site investigation in the southern North Sea, after testing it against a commercially available sparker system.
At the test site the sparker typically yielded 50 milliseconds of sub-bottom penetration, which was not sufficient for the task. When the sparker was replaced by the HMS-620, the data was captured beyond 200 milliseconds of sub-bottom penetration.
Caption: The HMS-620 seismic system.
Source: FSI press release
Japan Tsunami Debris Carries Invasive Species
A floating dock that washed ashore in Newport, Oregon, in June has been traced back to the 2011 Tohoku, Japan, earthquake and tsunami, spurring concerns about invasive species.
The cement float contains about 13 pounds of organisms per square foot, scientists at Oregon State University's (OSU) Hatfield Marine Science Center said. They have gathered samples of four to six species of barnacles, starfish, urchins, anemones, amphipods, worms, mussels, limpets, snails, solitary tunicates and algae. There are dozens of species overall.
John Chapman, an OSU marine invasive species specialist, said it was "mind-boggling" how these organisms survived their trek across the Pacific Ocean. The low productivity of open ocean waters should have starved at least some of the organisms, he said.
Jessica Miller, an OSU marine ecologist, said that a brown algae (Undaria pinnatifida) called wakame was present across most of the dock. The algae is native to the western Pacific Ocean in Asia and has invaded several regions, including southern California.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State Parks plans to scrape the dock and bag all of the biological material to minimize potential spread of non-native species, Miller said. There is no way of telling if any of the organisms have already disembarked in nearshore waters.
Invasive marine species are a problem on the West Coast, where they are usually introduced via ballast water from ships.
It is difficult to assess how much of a threat the organisms may present. As future debris arrives, it may carry additional species. However, this dock may be unique in that it represents debris that has been submerged in Japan and had a well-developed subtidal community. This may be relatively rare, given the amount of debris that entered the ocean, the researchers say.
"Floating objects from near Sendai can drift around that coast for a while before getting into the Kuroshio current and then getting transported to the eastern Pacific," Chapman said.
The researchers hope to secure funding to go to Japan and sample similar floats for comparison of biological life.
Caption: A derelict Japanese dock that washed up on Agate Beach. (Credit: OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center)
Source: OSU press release
House Committee Approves Coast Guard,
Marine Debris Legislation
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved last Thursday the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Authorization Act of 2012 (H.R. 5887), a three-year reauthorization of the Coast Guard for fiscal years 2013 to 2015, and the Marine Debris Act Reauthorization Amendments of 2011 (H.R. 1171).
Although the House approved a three-year Coast Guard bill last year, the Senate has not yet acted on it. H.R. 5887 was introduced in the House on June 1 by Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.). The bill authorizes $6.9 billion for 2013, $7 billion for 2014 and $7 billion for 2015.
The bill also extends the date on which new fishing vessels must be classed in order to give the Coast Guard sufficient time to provide guidance to the fishing industry and shipyards.
H.R. 1171, Rep. Sam Farr's (D-Calif.) bill to reauthorize the Marine Debris Research, Prevention and Reduction Act, would continue funding through fiscal year 2016 for NOAA's Marine Debris Program, which addresses the adverse impacts of trash in the ocean. The bill makes some technical adjustments to the existing law, such as restating the list of purposes to "address the adverse impacts of marine debris" and including further detail on the program's components, i.e., investigation and assessment; prevention, reduction and removal; national and regional coordination; development of tools and products; and international cooperation. The bill also includes a definition of marine debris. A companion bill is advancing in the Senate.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also approved H.R. 4965, sponsored by Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), which is intended to prevent the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers from significantly expanding federal power to regulate water and land use under the Clean Water Act.
Caption: Rep. Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, speaks at the hearing on H.R. 5887 and H.R. 1171 last Thursday.
Source: U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Anti-Piracy Firm Launched in California
Skye Maritime (San Diego, California), a firm offering security and anti-piracy solutions for clients operating in war risk regions at sea, began operations this month.
The company, launched by two U.S. Armed Forces veterans, provides services aimed at understanding and predicting changes in pirate threat tactics, techniques and procedures. Supported by a 24/7 operations center, the firm offers risk assessments, physical security consulting and embedded armed teams.
Source: Skye Maritime press release
Fugro Unveils Buoy for Marine Energy Industry
Fugro OCEANOR (Trondheim, Norway) has launched the SEAWATCH Wind LiDAR Buoy, a multipurpose buoy designed for the renewable energy industry, the company announced on Tuesday.
The buoy is the result of a joint industry project involving Norwegian universities, research institutes, Statoil (Stavanger, Norway) and Fugro. It measures the speed and direction of wind across the diameter of wind turbine rotors in profile up to 300-meter heights, while additional oceanographic sensors measure ocean waves and current profiles.
Validation of the SEAWATCH buoy took place off the coast of Norway. The tests were designed to compare wind data collected by the buoy to data from a similar lidar located on land and from a fixed met tower. Wind velocities up to 20 meters per second and wave heights up to 5 meters were recorded. The average deviation in wind speed measurements between the SEAWATCH buoy and the reference stations was less than 2 percent.
The buoy is built on the SEAWATCH Wavescan platform by Fugro, which includes the GENI controller, a power management unit and a ZephIR 300 lidar system.
The ZephIR 300 provides measurements across the entire rotor diameter and beyond, and can be configured to measure up to 10 different heights, from 10 to 300 meters. Its low power consumption aids operation of a small, low-cost platform.
Caption: The SEAWATCH Wind LiDAR Buoy.
Source: Fugro press release
RBR Successfully Tests MLM-1000 Modem
RBR Ltd. (Ottawa, Canada) announced on Monday that its MLM-1000 Inductive Mooring Line Modem operated successfully in a field trial.
RBR conducted a joint field trial in Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts, with McLane Research Laboratories Inc. (East Falmouth, Massachusetts) that involved laying 1 mile of jacketed mooring line across the seabed between two vessels. The McLane Moored Profiler (MMP) controller was deployed at the seabed, while communications were established aboard another vessel using principles of inductive coupling. With the RBR MLM-1000, data transfer ensued at 4800 baud.
McLane has integrated the MLM-1000 into its MMP to utilize the modem's capacity for high-speed data transfers and a byte-watt ratio. The MLM-1000 modem operates as a transparent serial line extender. Available as an add-on accessory to RBR CTDs as well as other submersible instruments, it is also adaptable to any original equipment manufacturer devices with a serial port.
Caption: The MLM-1000 modem.
Source: RBR press release
Aquanauts Travel to Ocean Floor
To Test Concepts for Asteroid Mission
An international crew of aquanauts began on Tuesday a 12-day expedition on the ocean floor testing concepts for a potential asteroid mission, NASA said. The tests are part of the 16th excursion of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations. NEEMO will investigate communication delays, restraint and translation techniques and optimum crew size.
The crew of four began its mission in NOAA's Aquarius Reef Base undersea research habitat off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, on Monday.
NEEMO sends groups of astronauts, engineers and scientists to live in the Aquarius lab, 63 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. For NASA, Aquarius provides a convincing simulation to space exploration, and NEEMO crew members experience some of the same tasks and challenges under water that they would in space.
NEEMO 16 is using two DeepWorker submersibles and the OpenROV, a relatively inexpensive open-source ROV platform. On Tuesday, successful testing was conducted on the OpenROV at Jules' Undersea Lodge to prepare it for the Wednesday mission to Aquarius base. Its depth capabilities were tested, as well as how the brushless motors held up during an afternoon of heavy use in saltwater. The OpenROV will be further tested by the upcoming challenges of ocean swell and currents.
The isolation and microgravity environment of the ocean floor allows the NEEMO 16 crew to study and test concepts for how future exploration of asteroids might be conducted. NASA's Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System rocket, which currently are in development, will allow people to begin exploring beyond the boundaries of Earth's orbit. The first human mission to an asteroid is planned for 2025.
For additional information on the mission, visit www.nasa.gov/neemo.
Caption: The OpenROV system deployed at NEEMO.
Source: NASA press release
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