NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will begin two months of dives using unmanned remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, to explore marine protected areas in the central Pacific Ocean. Starting on Aug. 1, anyone with an internet connection can virtually explore the deep sea with scientists and researchers from their computer or mobile device.
Testing new scientific technology is a risky business. In the case of two Saildrones released in the eastern Bering Sea over a month ago, the risk has led to big rewards. Equipped with a suite of scientific sensors, the unmanned surface vehicles are performing beyond researchers’ expectations during their first test run in cold waters. Each Saildrone has collected over 40 million measurements over the course of the planned 2.5 month test mission.
Today, a multi-national team of Canadian, European and American ocean mapping experts launch the first trans-Atlantic mapping survey under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. The expedition will map from St. John, Newfoundland to Galway, Ireland.
The survey is one of the first projects to be launched by the Alliance, formed in May 2013 following the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation, whose goals are to join resources of its three signatories to better understand the North Atlantic Ocean and to promote the sustainable management of its resources.
On April 22, two autonomous surface vehicles equipped with meteorological and oceanographic sensors will be released for the first time in the Bering Sea by NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). Saildrones have the capacity to increase observational infrastructure in remote and hostile polar regions where ship time and human labor is costly and potentially hazardous. The ongoing development of Saildrones is a collaborative effort of researchers at PMEL, the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) at the University of Washington, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Saildrone Inc.
Beginning April 10, scientists aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will begin a series of 20 dives to investigate previously unseen depths of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean – and the public can follow along online.
During dives that are expected to go as deep as 3.7 miles, a sophisticated unmanned submarine, called a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, will broadcast live video from the seafloor, allowing anyone with Internet access to watch the expedition as it unfolds.