Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Great opportunities for marine research with new underwater vehicle

20.06.2017

The University of Gothenburg soon will have its first autonomous underwater vehicle for research use. This will make it possible to conduct detailed studies of the seabed at great depths and track the climate thousands of years back in time.

After more than two years of preparation, the University of Gothenburg has signed a contract that will make Sweden’s first autonomous underwater vehicle for research use a reality.


AUV, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle


Anna Wahlin

Malin Arnesson

“This underwater vessel will enable us to do research in areas that we have been unable to reach so far, such as underneath glaciers in Antarctica that are 500 metres thick and beneath the Arctic sea ice”, says Anna Wåhlin, a professor of oceanography at the University of Gothenburg.

Enabling detailed studies of the seabed

The vessel is known as an AUV, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. It is an unmanned, autonomous submarine equipped with a range of instruments and sensors capable of mapping the marine environment and measuring the ocean’s chemistry, physics and biology.

With the craft, detailed studies can be carried out at great depths in the oceans. The submarine operates independently and can be sent out on missions under the control of a mothership, where scientists can also be working on other investigations.

“To measure the marine environment to the extent necessary for understanding how the ocean works, we must make use of autonomous observation platforms on a much larger scale. Future research vessels will serve as motherships for many different autonomous vehicles, with our AUV being one of the largest and most complex.”

Large areas of the seabed can be surveyed

The new underwater vessel will be able to descend to a depth of 3,000 metres and cover a range of about 200-300 km. It is equipped with a new state-of-the-art navigation system that makes it possible to operate for long distances under water and simultaneously know where it is, a major challenge for craft below the surface of the ocean since signals from satellites or GPS cannot penetrate water. It is equipped with instruments that can be used to survey large areas of the seabed and ice in great detail. It also will have sonar that penetrates the floor of the ocean and reveals the nature of sedimentation in the past.

“That information can be used to tell how the climate has changed throughout history and how the edge of the ice has moved. In addition, the AUV will have ultramodern equipment to measure ocean currents, temperature, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, nitrates and oxygen, among other things.”

Permits study of climate in the past

With the help of these instruments, scientists will be able to chart the ocean floor with such great resolution that they can determine the type of seabed, if it is clay or if coral grows there, and detect various types of phenomena such as contourites (convoluted sedimentary deposits on the seabed).

By peering into the seabed and sedimentation, scientists can also study the climate thousands of years back in time, conduct detailed studies of ocean currents and their chemistry and biology, and survey large areas of the ocean covered by ice. This will help calibrate the satellites that measure the expanse and thickness of ice. The underwater craft also will be used for investigations of water closer to Sweden – in the Skagerrak and the Baltic Sea, for example.

The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is a national infrastructure, funded by a grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and managed by a project team with representatives from the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology and Stockholm University. The contract with the Norwegian company Kongsberg AS has now been signed. The underwater vehicle is expected to be in operation next year at the latest.

Contact:
Anna Wåhlin. Professor at the University of Gothenburg
anna.wahlin@marine.gu.se, +46 (0)31-786 2866

Photo: Kongsberg AS
Portrait Anna Wåhlin, Malin Arnesson

Weitere Informationen:

http://science.gu.se/english/News/News_detail//great-opportunities-for-marine-re...

Press Officer Thomas Melin | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
16.11.2017 | University of Oregon

nachricht Researchers create largest, longest multiphysics earthquake simulation to date
14.11.2017 | Gauss Centre for Supercomputing

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>