AUV Designed from Common
Household Appliances, Recycled Material
Students from the
University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol Robotics Lab designed
AUV, Chimaera, using common household
appliances, such as cameras from a PlayStation 3. The AUV was created
for the Student AUV Challenge Europe (SAUC-E) competition at
the NATO Undersea Research Centre in La Spezia, Italy, which began July
6 and runs through this Friday. Last year, the team was awarded
the Innovation prize.
The AUV will include depth sensors, compass, sonar, a
profiler and two cameras. Recycled materials were used for
The team is investigating AUV applications such as mine countermeasures
and cleaning base
structures for sea wind farms or oil rig inspections.
“A key part of the challenge is to build an AUV that will be robust
enough to cope with a fairly hostile environment yet incorporating
sophisticated equipment in a watertight and lightweight encasement,”
Gareth Griffiths, the team leader, said. “This year we are focusing on
making the vehicle as lightweight as possible, with an ability to
localize in its environment.”
SAUC-E enables participants to test their AUVs in real-life ocean
conditions of limited visibility in a sheltered harbor.
Caption: The Chimaera AUV. (Photo Credit: UWE
Source: UWE Bristol press release
N-Seatec to Supply
Surveyor Camera for Allseas ROV Fleet
Ltd. (Aberdeen, Scotland) announced on Tuesday that, in partnership
with N-Seatec Subsea Systems B.V. (Zierikzee, Netherlands), it has won
a supply contract with Allseas UK Ltd. (London, England) to supply
Bowtech Surveyor high-definition cameras, replacing the existing
high-definition cameras on all Schilling Robotics LLC (Davis,
California) UHD ROVs in Allseas' fleet. Bowtech and N-Seatec
also won the supply of the associated connectors and various
Allseas plans to upgrade 30 cameras and
has ordered the first four cameras after testing them on a Schilling
UHD at the beginning of 2012.
Bowtech’s Surveyor camera utilizes Sony’s latest block camera, with a
titanium 6,000-meter-rated housing. The camera is relatively small,
which makes it suitable for mounting on ROVs.
Caption: Schilling’s UHD ROV. (Photo credit:
Source: Bowtech press release
Opens Aberdeen Office
UTEC Survey Inc.
(Houston, Texas) has opened a new regional
headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland, the company announced last Friday.
The Aberdeen base will provide services in the North Sea and West
Africa and support operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa in
conjunction with the company’s Naples, Italy, office.
“This facility supports UTEC’s vision for the region, which includes
additional growth of our core capabilities; construction support, AUV,
geophysical and geotechnical services,” said Kevin McBarron, UTEC’s
Aberdeen-based managing director.
The company expects revenues from Europe and African operations to more
than double during 2012, which has led to a 60 percent increase in
Caption: Neil Gordon (center) of Subsea UK at
the official opening with UTEC CEO Martin O’Carroll (left)
and Aberdeen-based managing director Kevin McBarron (right).
Source: UTEC press release
Subsea Wins Contract for
Wales Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm
Reef Subsea AS
(Surrey, England) announced on Monday that its
subsidiary company, Reef Subsea Power & Umbilical Ltd.
(Stockton-on-Tees, England) has been awarded a major contract with
Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm Ltd. (Swindon, Wales), worth
approximately Ł40 million. Reef Subsea Power & Umbilical will
assist with engineering, project management, ROV and survey operations
linked to the subsea installation and burial of all infield array
cables for Gwynt y Môr, located 13 kilometers off the North Wales coast
in Liverpool Bay.
The wind farm will have an installed capacity of 576 megawatts and is
designed to be integrated into the U.K. national grid in 2014. Reef
Subsea Power & Umbilical will install and bury the 161 infield
interarray cables and connect the two offshore substations.
The company will deploy one of its installation and burial spreads,
which will be on contract through 2013 and will also be designed for
future offshore wind farm developments that require increasing maximum
bend radius of infield interarray cables.
Caption: Location of Gwynt y Môr off the coast
Source: Reef Subsea press release
for Maritime Manages Charting, Bathymetry Data
California) on Tuesday released ArcGIS for Maritime: Charting
and ArcGIS for Maritime: Bathymetry, which enable users to create,
manage and share maritime-related data and metadata for port
management, maritime transport, coastal management, offshore energy,
nautical chart production and maritime defense.
ArcGIS for Maritime: Charting (previously Esri Nautical Solution)
allows nautical data to be captured, maintained and managed in a
centralized database. Users can produce electronic, paper, raster and
custom charts, as well as integrate their nautical data with other
spatial information. They can also share with other groups, including
ArcGIS for Maritime: Bathymetry manages bathymetric data and metadata,
allowing for indexing, searching and modeling. It visualizes
bathymetric data by querying and filtering data holdings based on
metadata and spatial location, and composes multiple data sets into a
bathymetric surface model in real time without data duplication.
Source: Esri press release
Exceeds $20,000 Fundraising Goal
open-source robotic submarine designed to make underwater
exploration available to the public, has exceeded its fundraising goal
of $20,000 on Kickstarter. As of publication, the San Francisco,
California-based project has raised more than $74,000 from at least 300
backers. The funds will go toward the manufacturing of OpenROV kits.
The OpenROV is 30 centimeters long, 20 centimeters wide and 15
centimeters tall. It moves about 1 meter per second, weighs
approximately 2.5 kilograms and has been designed for depths up to 100
meters. A 10-centimeter-outer-diameter, 18-centimeter-long waterproof
tube houses all electronics and other equipment. Equipment in the tube
is mounted onto a rotating platform that can be tilted up and down.
Three 800-kilovolt brushless motors power the ROV. Two horizontal
thrusters allow the vehicle to move forward and aft as well as rotate,
and a vertical thruster allows the neutrally buoyant vehicle to change
The interface is hosted as a web server from the ROV that allows
movement control with a computer's keyboard. An interface that will use
a USB game controller is being developed, with eventual plans to make
the ROV controllable via the Internet.
The OpenROV Kit, available with donations above $725, is presently a
product geared toward makers and developers, involving soldering,
gluing and wiring of electronics.
OpenROV has been tested in ocean water to depths of 20 meters. Eight
onboard C batteries supply up to 1.5 hours of run time.
Although the ROV can operate in saltwater, saltwater accelerates the
corrosion of the brushless motors. One strategy has been to spray them
with silicon mold release before use and to give them a freshwater
rinse after every saltwater dive. Motors can be replaced off the shelf.
The project, founded by Eric Stackpole, seeks user feedback from people
who build and operate
OpenROVs to improve design and functionality.
Caption: The OpenROV.
Source: The OpenROV project
Rear Adm. Rich Seesholtz
Rear Adm. Rich
Seesholtz, who served as the oceanographer of the Navy from 1983
to 1988, died of leukemia and lymphoma on June 8 at the age of 79, The
Washington Post reported.
As oceanographer of the Navy, he commanded five oceanographer centers
U.S. and 14 ships that conducted deep-ocean mapping, and magnetic and
gravitational surveys. He supervised military and civilian work in
meteorology, hydrography, astronomy, chronometry and oceanography.
Seesholtz was featured on Sea Technology's February 1984
cover. He retired as a rear admiral in 1988.
Caption: Rear Adm. Rich Seesholtz. (Photo
Source: The Washington Post