Page 44: of Marine Technology Magazine (June 2012)

AUV Arctic Operations

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The data-collection capacity of an AUV expands signiÞ cant-ly if you add an external 3.5 meter-long sensor-array wing while maintaining programmable ß ight. After two years of applied research, the REALM project within Memorial Uni-versity of Newfoundland in partnership with PanGeo Subsea Inc. is closing in on the launch of an AUV prototype that could greatly reduce sub-bottom imaging costs for a broad range of marine projects.The water ahead of the zodiac is almost calm as Ron Lewis, (M.Eng.) approaches the shore. Just ahead of him the water ripples as the Explorer, an autonomous underwater vehicle, returns from its pre-programmed mission and docks at the nearby wharf. Once lift cables are hooked on, the winch op- erator slowly hoists the 4.5 meter-long AUV with a difference: a 3.5 meter long wing strapped across its belly. There is no back slapping, but the team of researchers on the water and onshore at the Holyrood Marine Base, an hour`s drive from St. JohnÕs, know that, after 12 days of sea trials, they have passed an important hurdle. This is the culmination of a two-year partnership to deploy proven acoustic marine technology in an innovative way. The partners include PanGeo Subsea Inc. and the Responsive AUV Localization and Mapping Project (REALM) at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. JohnÕs. Speaking by telephone from Paris where he was attending a World Ocean Council meeting, Gary Dinn says the project had its genesis in the halls of a federal funding agency. It was 2010 when Dinn, vice president for technology development with PanGeo, struck up a conversation with a bureaucrat fa- miliar with his companyÕs acoustic technology. She thought he would be interested in the REALM project which had re- newed research funding. ÒThey were deploying their AUV AUV Outside  inking Outside the AUV By Wade Kearley, BFA, MLT Image AboveAfter reprogramming the ?guts and glory? of the AUV two members of the REALM project team prepare to close and seal the Explorer for sea-bottom trials: (L-R) Ron Lewis, project manager and Peter King, lead engineer. Photo Courtesy Chris Hammond June 201244 MTRMTR #5 (34-49).indd 44MTR #5 (34-49).indd 445/31/2012 10:26:37 AM5/31/2012 10:26:37 AM

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