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April 2012 Issue

First Commercial Subsea Optical Communications System Launched by Sonardyne, Woods Hole
Sonardyne International Ltd. (Yateley, England) has created a joint venture company with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, called Lumasys Inc. (Falmouth, Massachusetts), which will launch BlueComm, the first commercial subsea optical communication system.

BlueComm will enable the transfer of subsea data at rates equivalent to broadband, up to 10 to 20 megabits per second, Sonardyne said in March. It will use a transmitter of high-power LEDs and a receiver based on photomultiplier technology able to detect light levels of a few photons. Operating in short ranges up to hundreds of meters, it is suited for applications requiring high bandwidth or in cases where ambient noise precludes the use of acoustic technologies.


Teledyne to Implement ADCP into Slocum Glider
Poway, California-based Teledyne RD Instruments (RDI) has begun engineering and fieldwork for testing the full integration of its acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) into Teledyne Webb Research’s (Falmouth, Massachusetts) Slocum Glider.

Under a contract awarded last year from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the intention is to use the glider’s profiling capability to extend the current measurement range of the ADCP. Removing the platform motion is critical to the success of this application, and early testing in shallow water has shown that an initial implementation of the techniques developed by the lowered ADCP community is yielding good results, Teledyne said. For more information click here.


BlueView 2D Sonars to Ship With ProViewer Plus
BlueView Technologies (Seattle, Washington) will include its new ProViewer Plus operating software with all 2D multibeam imaging sonar shipments. Developed by SeeByte (Edinburgh, Scotland), ProViewer Plus tracks, monitors and classifies multiple targets simultaneously and automates underwater navigation controls. For more information click here.


Coda Octopus, Seatronics Offer 3D Sonar Rentals
Coda Octopus Products (Lakeland, Florida) and Seatronics (Aberdeen, Scotland) signed in March an agreement that will offer Coda Octopus’ Echoscope 3D sonar for rental through a joint technology access program (TAP).

Under TAP, clients can contact any Coda Octopus or Seatronics office to rent an Echoscope system for the short or long term. The companies have invested $1.5 million in Echoscope equipment for the TAP asset pool. Seatronics already maintains Echoscope systems in its rental pool.


Wave Gliders Break Distance World Record, Liquid Robotics and BP Announce Research Grant
Liquid Robotics Inc.’s (Sunnyvale, California) Wave Gliders have set a Guinness Book world record for distance traveled by an unmanned wave-powered vehicle. The vehicles arrived in Hawaii after traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles, breaking the previous 2,500-nautical-mile record, the company said in March.

The gliders were launched in November 2011 from San Francisco Bay and are on the first leg of a 9,000-nautical-mile route across the Pacific in the PacX Challenge. The gliders will undergo a checkup before the first team travels on to Japan, crossing the Mariana Trench and Kuroshio Current. The second team will head to Australia. Their estimated arrivals are in late 2012 or early 2013.

To encourage scientific use of the Wave Gliders’ collected data, Liquid Robotics and BP plc (London, England) established in March a prize for the person whose utilizes PacX Wave Glider data in a way that “best represents the spirit of exploration and discovery embodied by this journey.” The grand prize consists of six months of free Wave Glider data services and $50,000 from BP for managing the six-month Wave Glider mission and analyzing the collected data. Applicants must submit a one-page abstract by July 17. Click here for more information.


Forum Subsea Technologies Introduces New ROV
Forum Subsea Technologies (Houston, Texas) launched in March a new deepwater ROV, the Tomahawk.

Rated to a depth of 3,000 meters, it is well-suited to survey, well intervention and drilling support tasks. The Tomahawk is equipped with coarse wave division multiplexing and dual gigabit Ethernet options and communication junction box to integrate the operators’ equipment.

The Tomahawk has the same 35-kilowatt power system and thrusters as Forum’s Comanche ROV. It can also be equipped with a 10-kilowatt hydraulic power unit for running heavy-duty manipulators, tools and work skids. When garaged facing inwards, it can simultaneously carry camera boom arms on the front and TSS440 search coils on the rear. Garaged facing outward, Tomahawk can be fitted with manipulators (front) and intervention tooling (rear). Click here for more information.


KVH Chosen as V.Ships Preferred Satellite Service
V.Ships (St. John’s, Isle of Man) has selected the mini-VSAT broadband service from KVH Industries Inc. (Middletown, Rhode Island) as its preferred satellite communications service, KVH announced in March. V.Ships will promote KVH’s TracPhone onboard terminals and mini-VSAT service to its customers through SeaCom Electronics Ltd. (Southampton, England), a member of V.Group, V.Ships’ parent company.


ORPC Begins Installing TidGen Offshore Maine
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a pilot project license to Portland, Maine-based Ocean Renewable Power Co. (ORPC) in March, approving the company’s plans to install five grid-connected TidGen devices offshore Lubec, Maine. ORPC plans to complete this system, which has a rated capacity of 300 kilowatts, by mid-2013.

The bottom support frame of the first TidGen device has been deployed, ORPC said in March. The company has begun conducting pile driving activities to secure the frame, which Perry Marine & Construction LLC (Perry, Maine) assembled at its facility in Eastport, Maine.

This initial installation, likely to be operational in June, will be ORPC’s first grid-connected, commercial TidGen system. Click here for more information.


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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