Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Deep-Sea Exploration to Conduct High-Tech Survey of Florida's Endangered Coral Reefs

05.12.2008
Currently, there are better maps of the surface of the moon and Mars than the sea bottom off Florida’s coastline. A unique, deep-sea expedition using cutting-edge autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) will create high definition sonar maps of the coastline of Florida’s rare and vulnerable deep sea coral reefs for the first time.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University (Harbor Branch) has been selected by the Waitt Institute for Discovery to carry out a series of voyages of exploration in the Straits of Florida and beyond.

The Waitt Institute, in partnership with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is making available cutting edge, unmanned, deep ocean exploration tools called autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). The inaugural expedition launches on December 4, 2008, and taps the scientific expertise and resources of Harbor Branch to explore Florida’s rare and vulnerable deep coral reefs.

The expedition will utilize these AUVs to create high definition sonar maps of deep water Lophelia coral reefs. These Deep Sea Coral Ecosystems (DSCEs) are currently under threat from destructive bottom trawling and other human-caused impacts. The detailed bathymetric maps compiled during the CATALYST ONE mission will provide much-needed data to researchers and government officials on potential areas for designation as marine protected areas and habitat areas of particular concern in order to protect these fragile resources.

The expedition will be led by John Reed, research professor at Harbor Branch, who has been studying and working to protect these deep corals for over 30 years. "Currently, there are better maps of the surface of the moon and Mars than the sea bottom off Florida’s coastline,” said Reed. “Our mission is to use the two AUVs to map this area of Florida’s deep sea coral reefs for the first time.”

For the initial expedition, Harbor Branch is contributing ocean exploration expertise, expedition logistics, science plan development and execution, as well as exploration resources, including the research vessel Seward Johnson.

A newly-formed partnership dubbed the CATALYST Program is making this and future expeditions possible. CATALYST is a partnership between Waitt Institute for Discovery and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to carry out a series of deep-sea expeditions that make available for the first time a versatile and highly portable deep-sea tool kit and operations team, which can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world. This unprecedented collaboration features the Waitt Institute’s two newly built Hydroid REMUS 6000 AUVs, which can explore depths down to 6,000 meters, or 3.7 miles, below the ocean’s surface without a human crew or cables connecting them to a research vessel. These innovative multi-sensor platforms are equipped with high-tech survey instruments capable of recording critical oceanographic data, photo-imaging deep-sea features and producing detailed sonar maps of the ocean floor.

As the founder of the CATALYST Program, the Waitt Institute for Discovery commissioned the construction of two REMUS 6000 AUVs and currently directs the implementation of CATALYST expeditions.

“We are enthusiastic about our partnership with WHOI to make available deep-water technology to the broader oceanographic community,” said Ted Waitt, founder and president of the Waitt Institute for Discovery and founder and former chairman of Gateway, Inc. “We have a mutual objective: to accelerate and advance deep-sea exploration, cutting-edge scientific research and sustainable ocean policy.”

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution developed and engineered the original REMUS autonomous underwater vehicles and has built an AUV operations team based at WHOI that possesses the expertise to conduct REMUS 6000 expeditions anywhere in the world.

For more information:

The Waitt Institute CATALYST Program
http://waittinstitute.org/
HBOI @Sea – CATALYST ONE Expedition Updates
http://at-sea.org
WHOI Oceanographic Systems Lab
http://remus.whoi.edu/
About the Waitt Institute:
The Waitt Institute for Discovery is a non-profit research organization that serves as an exploration catalyst, enabling scientific pioneers to transform the ways in which discoveries are made. The Waitt Institute for Discovery implements innovative technologies in the field through collaborations with world-renowned scientific institutions, synthesizing global expertise and accelerating groundbreaking research. Founded in 2005 by Ted Waitt http://waittinstitute.org/WID/aboutus/ted.htm, The Waitt Institute for Discovery seeks to advance human understanding of the past and secure promise of a better future through exploration and discovery. For more information about The Waitt Institute for Discovery, please visit: http://waittinstitute.org/WID
About Harbor Branch:
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans. Harbor Branch was founded in 1971 as a private non-profit organization, http://www.hboi.edu. In December 2007, Harbor Branch joined Florida Atlantic University.
About FAU:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges: College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.
About Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution:
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent organization in Falmouth, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans’ role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit: http://www.whoi.edu

Gisele Galoustian | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.fau.edu
http://www.whoi.edu
http://waittinstitute.org/WID

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>