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Ocean floor mapping as a precursor for space exploration


Forrest, AL and Trembanis, AC and Todd, WL, Ocean floor mapping as a precursor for space exploration, Journal of Ocean Technology, 7, (2) pp. 69-86. ISSN 1718-3200 (2012) [Refereed Article]


Exploration of our world's oceans has many of the same challenges encountered in space exploration. In May 2011, a four-day, high-resolution geoacoustic and benthic imagery survey was conducted using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) manufactured by Teledyne Gavia and owned and operated by the University of Delaware. The target area was a 2 km × 0.8 km portion of Conch Reef, Florida, surrounding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aquarius Underwater Laboratory. This work was in support of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) XV program subsequently conducted from October 20-26, 2011. The collected data provides 0.5 m resolution bathymetry in the Carpenter Basin, a 300 m x 300 m region directly surrounding Aquarius, and then 1.0 m resolution in the remainder of the survey area. The resulting bathymetric products were then used as base maps to identify individual targets of interest for DeepWorker (individual submersibles) operations during NEEMO XV. These submersibles had a greatly reduced operating range, as compared to the AUV missions, but were able to provide an enhanced level of detail of individual targets and the ability to return samples of the substrate. Autonomous robotic precursor missions, such as the one illustrated here, play a critical role in developing safe and efficient techniques for human exploration of oceans and are direct analogues for space exploration. © Journal of Ocean Technology 2012.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Aquarius; Autonomous underwater vehicles; Carpenter Basin; Conch Reef; Exploration; Robotic precursor; Space analogues
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Maritime engineering
Research Field:Special vehicles
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes
UTAS Author:Forrest, AL (Dr Alexander Forrest)
ID Code:82361
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:NC Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics
Deposited On:2013-01-29
Last Modified:2013-01-29

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