ST Conference PreviewOCEANS ‘13 MTS/IEEE San Diego
Heeding the call to join “An Ocean in Common,” authors flooded the OCEANS ‘13 MTS/IEEE (Marine Technology Society/Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) San Diego technical program committee with a record number of abstracts in a single day. “We expected a good turnout,” said Barbara Fletcher, technical program chair, “but this shows we’re on the right track with the technical and scientific program.”
The conference, which will take place September 23 to 26, will host the MTS 50th anniversary celebration. “I expect we’ll pull out a few stops for that,” said OCEANS ‘13 Chair Bob Wernli.
Topics, Tours, Tutorials
Special topics include an ultradeep track discussing current and prospective robotic technologies, plus a panel of scientists to consider research questions. Wernli and OCEANS ‘13 Co-Chair Kevin Hardy, developer of the unmanned landers for James Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGE Expedition, will convene the session. “James’s intention is to be certain the door remains open to other explorers,” said Hardy. “This track will help facilitate that vision. We’ve barely imagined the possibilities.” Cameron will coauthor one paper in the track.
The conference leads off with the plenary session that now includes legendary oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer Dr. Sylvia Earle, and Dr. Greg Kusinski, DeepStar director, Chevron Energy Technology Co. (Houston, Texas). Two more notables, from government and academia, will complete the panel.
Special ground tours are being arranged, including exhibitor equipment demos from a ship and a tour of a new NOAA laboratory located on the north end of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Tutorials will attract a large audience, with 13 programs from fiber optics to free vehicles, including two TOURtorial programs. Wernli coined the phrase “TOURtorial” to describe a tutorial held off-site from the conference.
Tutorials Chair Bill Porto, working his fifth conference, is delighted with the range of subjects. “We’ve added several new topics to a few perennial favorites, all with a high degree of relevance to the ocean engineering community,” said Porto. He added, “Instructors are drawn from industry and academia to provide improvement in design skills and process knowledge to attendees and their companies.”
Confirmed tutorial subjects include Optical Communications Design Principles: Fiber and Free Space; Multibeam Imaging Sonars: Fundamentals, Use and Specification; AUV Technology and Application Basics; Underwater Optical Imaging: Theory and Practice; Interpreting ADCP Data—Efficiently and Effectively; BioAcoustics: Passive Acoustics Monitoring; Narrowband and Broadband Beamforming; A Primer on Coherent and Coherent-on-Receive Marine Radar Fundamentals and Applications to Remote Sensing of Waves and Currents; Fundamentals of Free Vehicle Design and Operation; Fundamentals of Additive Manufacturing for Ocean Applications; Fixed Position Monitoring Using Split-Beam Hydroacoustics; Hydroacoustic Methods for Aquatic Habitat Assessment and Mapping; and UUVs.
Commercial exhibit contracts are booming, with one exhibit hall sold out, and the second filling up quickly. At press time, only 20 booths remained. The exhibit floor will also host the student poster competition and an Academic Row of local and regional institutions of higher education.
The number of participating societies and nonprofit foundations is still growing with the recent addition of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) and the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). More than a dozen professional and scientific societies will join the conference sponsors, MTS and IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society, to focus on all matters aquatic. “The fusion of perspectives is going to make this a very exciting and productive conference,” said John Scanlon, OCEANS ‘13 co-participating society chair.
With the help of the academic host, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Chairman of Academic Outreach Kevin Delaney and Academic Row Coordinator Jim Fahey are inviting institutions of higher learning from southern California and across North America. Student participation is encouraged with discounted registration, a poster competition, and volunteer and understudy session co-chair opportunities.
The conference website, www.oceans13mtsieeesandiego.org, has added a few new features, including a media section where print ads, web banners and press releases are available for cross-promotion by exhibitors, co-participating societies and academic institutions.
The conference will also include a number of subject-specific Town Hall meetings, a teachers workshop, a golf tournament, a sweepstakes drawing for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a Wednesday evening gala on board the aircraft carrier USS Midway, a two-night underwater film festival open to attendees and the public, and a host of local ground tours in and around San Diego, California.
A new iPhone app will be unveiled that will allow attendees to plan their daily sessions around their interests.
Online registration for OCEANS ‘13 MTS/IEEE San Diego is available at www.oceans13mtsieeesandiego.org.
The following list of exhibitors was updated at press time: