Page 22: of Marine Technology Magazine (June 2012)

AUV Arctic Operations

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A Unique Diving Operation at Risk A Unique Diving Operation at Risk Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory: The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) operates two of eight research submers- ibles diving below 1500m in the world at present. In the US, the only other deep diving submers- ible operation is ?ALVIN? run by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. HURL is a cooperative program between the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA, through its Of ce Of Exploration and Research, largely funds the program. Unfortu- nately, in the Federal FY ?13 budget NOAA zeroed out the National Undersea Research Program, the parent organization of HURL. This will close the lab unless other funding is ob-tained. The loss for undersea research will be con- siderable. HURL provides a unique capability to engineers and scientists. HURL has made some amazing con-tributions. Last year, work by Dr. Robert Dunbar on deep-sea corals showed these to be the oldest living organisms on earth, up to 10,000 years old. HURL has investigated the growth and collapse of Loihi Seamount, the next Hawaiian Island. This has quanti ed a major tsunami threat. We have devel- oped new deep-sea technology and found several historic shipwrecks. By John C. Wiltshire, Ph.D., Director, Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) Image Courtesy HURL 22 MTRJune 2012MTR #5 (18-33).indd 22MTR #5 (18-33).indd 225/31/2012 9:54:22 AM5/31/2012 9:54:22 AM

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