Page 18: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2017)

Oceanographic Instrumentation: Measurement, Process & Analysis

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Case Study

Ocean Mapping: Fugro Partner with Shell on X-Prize ugro will use its deepwater survey expertise to support Virmani, Ph.D., prize lead and senior director of XPRIZE’s the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE with high resolu- Energy and Environment Group. “Fugro’s global subsea expe-

Ftion bathymetry data of the competition area. rience ensures that we will have baseline maps of the highest

Fugro will partner with the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE standards, against which the judging panel can compare the to support ? rst round testing of the global, three-year competi- data collected by competing teams.” tion, which incentivizes development of rapid, unmanned and Given that 85% of the world’s oceans is yet to be mapped high resolution ocean mapping technologies. using modern survey techniques, there is a lot of seabed yet to

Fugro’s role is to provide high resolution deepwater base- cover. “Fugro is working on a number of fronts to help close line bathymetry data over a 500 sq. km competition area. The this data gap,” said David Millar, Fugro’s director of hydro- company has recently collected more than 1 million sq. km of graphic services for the Americas. “Our partnership with the high resolution bathymetry data per year globally, predomi- Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE is especially exciting, as the nantly in water depths greater than 750 meters. competition could result in game-changing technology that

Fugro will acquire the sea? oor data using a deepwater auton- will be for the bene? t of industry and our understanding of the omous underwater vehicle (AUV) equipped with sonar-based world’s oceans.” survey systems. This information will be used to ground-truth In addition to increasing the speeds and methods by which the work of 21 semi? nalist teams advancing to Round 1 of the baseline bathymetry could be acquired, the competition offers competition. The challenge for the competing teams is to de- a special $1million incentive sponsored by the U.S. National ploy their inventions to operate at 2,000 meters ocean depth, Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for sys- mapping 20% of the project site at 5 meters resolution, and tems that can also detect and track biological and chemical identifying at least ? ve archaeological, biological or geologi- signals. Such advancements would improve emergency re- cal features, all within a 16-hour timeframe. sponse and foster the discovery and monitoring of new marine “The semi? nalist teams in the Shell Ocean Discovery life and underwater communities.

XPRIZE are pushing the envelope of deep sea mapping ca- First round testing for semi? nalist teams is scheduled to pabilities, and we are delighted to partner with Fugro on this commence in September 2017. Fugro will acquire, process common goal of mapping the world’s oceans,” said Jyotika and deliver the high resolution baseline datasets in advance.

Photo: Fugro

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