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Marine Electronics

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May 2012 Issue

NASA Video Animates Ocean Surface Currents
NASAís Goddard Space Flight Center released in April an animated video showing swirls of ocean surface currents captured by NASA satellites from June 2005 to December 2007.

The video depicts how bigger currents like the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean and the Kuroshio Current in the Pacific carry warm waters across thousands of miles at more than 6 kilometers per hour, how coastal currents like the Agulhas in the Southern Hemisphere move equatorial waters toward the poles, and how thousands of other ocean currents are confined to particular regions and form slow-moving, circular eddies.

There are 20- and 3-minute versions for view at http://1.usa.gov/H11HEr. The long video shows details of the currents. The short one was released on the NASA Visualization Explorer iPad app. The visualization is based on a synthesis of a numerical model with observational data from the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) project, a joint effort by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and NASAís Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It combines observations with MITís numerical ocean model to obtain realistic descriptions of how ocean circulation evolves over time. These large model-data syntheses are made possible by the computing resources of NASAís Ames Research Center.

The ECCO data include: sea surface height from NASAís Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1, and Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite alti≠meters; gravity from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment mission; surface wind stress from NASAís QuikScat mission; sea surface temperature from the NASA/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS; sea ice concentration and velocity data from passive microwave radiometers; and temperature and salinity profiles from shipborne casts, moorings and the international Argo ocean observation system

ECCO data are being used to quantify the oceanís role in the global carbon cycle; understand the recent evolution of the polar oceans; monitor time-evolving heat, water and chemical exchanges within and between different components of the Earth system; and other science applications. For more information, click here.


Viewtooth Camera Successfully Demonstrated Underwater
WFS Technologiesí (Edinburgh, Scotland) successfully completed a demonstration of Viewtooth in March at the Underwater Centre, an ROV training center in Fort William, Scotland. The transmission of full-color video images from point to point was demonstrated over distances greater than 5 meters at a data rate of 78 kilobits per second. Images were relayed to the surface via a dedicated Ethernet link attached to an ROV umbilical.

The Viewtooth unit was mounted on a tripod that was lowered into the seabed, with the antenna located above the base. Accurate range was determined using a pole mounted on the tripod with clear markers for each meter of range.

The camera and receiver can be deployed by ROV for temporary or permanent installation and stream live video to a data collection point, such as another ROV or hardwired receiver. The 250-millimeter-by-150- millimeter unit can achieve a wireless range up to 5 meters in high temperatures.

Capable of operating in depths from 100 to 3,000 meters, Viewtooth is light enough to attach to a small intervention ROV to perform a range of inspection tasks in deep water. The unit can be recharged in situ for longer deployments and can support standard connections with ROVs.

Viewtooth files are output in standard advanced systems format (.asf), designed to be independent of any particular multimedia composition system, computer operating system or data communications protocol.

Viewtooth supports applications such as offshore troubleshooting and monitoring of subsea installations, eliminating the need to deploy multiple underwater vehicles.

The Viewtooth is based on the capabilities of WFSís seatooth underwater modem, which uses digital technology to transmit data and power through water at short range and enables navigation and location. For more information, click here.


Iver2 To Be Used in Surveys and Harbor Security
OceanServer Technology Inc. (Fall River, Massachusetts) has received an order from Wentworth Environmental Services (Wentworth, Canada) for the Iver2 base 42 AUV equipped with L-3 Klein (Salem, New Hampshire) 3500 side scan sonar, OceanServer Technology announced in April.

The new system will be used for general imaging surveys and as a test platform for new methods to characterize sites with underwater military munitions (UWMM). The Iver2 AUV cuts down on UWMM survey time with the 3500ís swath coverage of more than 125 meters. The Iver2 can also locate and map structures on the seabed, such as well heads, cables, and oil and gas pipelines.

Going forward, Wentworth will receive additional Iver2s, including a magnetometer option for sub-bottom profiling of objects covered in silt and mud on the seabed and one fitted with a video/still camera for recording underwater fauna. For more information, click here.


NCS Completes Survey Of Rubislaw Quarry
NCS Survey (Westhill, Scotland) completed a bathymetric survey of Rubislaw Quarry in March to aid decision making for the redevelopment of the site, which is filled with water to a depth of 152†meters.

The survey involved acquiring and processing multibeam echosounder data to produce a 3D digital terrain model of the flooded quarry to determine the water depth and identify any objects on the quarry bed for further ROV investigation.

The data will aid volumetric calculations to determine the amount of water involved if the owners decide to partially drain the quarry. NCS Survey and Seatronics (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) provided the survey equipment. For more information, click here.


2013:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.