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Ocean Business


December 2012 Issue

iRobot Shuts Down Marine Products Business
iRobot Corp. (Bedford, Massachusetts) has closed its Raleigh-Durham office in North Carolina, where its maritime business operated with product and research components. The company has moved its research activities to Bedford.

Efforts to develop Seaglider as a product will be halted, The News & Observer reported.

'While we think there is a future for unmanned underwater vehicles, the product market hasn't materialized as quickly as we expected,' iRobot Chairman and CEO Colin Angle said during an October conference call.

In its quarterly report, iRobot cited ongoing funding delays for government contractors as a contributing factor to the division's decreasing revenue.

ARROW Tsunami Detection System Launched
Mooring Systems Inc. (Cataumet, Massachusetts) and Down East Instrumentation LLC (Cary, North Carolina) have released their jointly developed tsunami detection system, which can be deployed for up to two years.

The ARROW (Autonomous Real-time Reporting of Waves) system differs from conventional systems, as it is submerged 100 meters below the ocean surface, eliminating its exposure to surface harsh conditions.

To determine if a tsunami wave passes above the sensor, ARROW hydrostatically measures the height of the water column using a high-resolution pressure sensor and processes the data. The pressure data are sent from the seabed-located sensor to the processing electronics in the subsurface buoy using a hardwired link. If a tsunami is detected, a hydrodynamic-shaped pop-up buoy with an Iridium transmitter is released to the surface, where it sends data via satellite to warning centers.

OPT Establishes New Business Unit for PowerBuoys
Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (OPT), based in Pennington, New Jersey, formed in November its Autonomous PowerBuoy business unit to target and develop opportunities for OPT's nongrid-connected PowerBuoys.

OPT's products for the autonomous market have been developed for off-grid applications, such as defense, offshore oil and gas operations, and oceanographic data gathering. The company appointed Phil Hart to the new position of senior vice president of autonomous power.

AIS Payload on exactEarth Satellite Passes Testing
exactEarth Ltd. (Cambridge, Canada) has successfully completed the payload performance testing of its latest AIS satellite, exactView-1 (EV-1). exactEarth planned to have the EV-1 in full commercial operation by November.

The polar-orbiting EV-1 was built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (Guildford, England) and is the fifth deployed satellite in the exactView vessel-monitoring satellite constellation. EV-1 utilizes S-band and C-band communications.

Markey Winches Chosen for Canadian Ice-Class Tugs
Markey Machinery (Seattle, Washington) will provide a complete suite of deck machinery for harbor-class TunDRA 100 tugs, operated by Group Ocean (Quebec, Canada). The Markey suites of deck machinery will include a DESDF-48-200HP Electric-Class III Hawser Winch, TES-40UL-125HP Electric Single-Drum Towing Winch and two VEP-16-40 Electric Vertical Capstan/Windlasses.

The tug's hulls will be reinforced and certified '1A Super FS' by Lloyd's Register (London, England) for ice navigation. Robert Allan Ltd. (Vancouver, Canada) assisted in integrating the winch systems into the tug design.

Kestrel to Provide Maritime Auto-Detection Software For Insitu's Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Sentient (Melbourne, Australia) and Insitu Inc. (Bingen, Washington) signed in October an agreement to integrate Kestrel land and maritime automated detection software systems into Insitu unmanned aircraft systems.

The incorporation of Kestrel software into Insitu's systems enable operators to utilize a larger field of regard.

Iver2 AUV Gets Marine Magnetics Magnetometer
OceanServer Technology (Fall River, Massachusetts) has partnered with Marine Magnetics to offer its Explorer magnetometer as a new option for Iver2 AUVs.

This new AUV-towed device, coupled to enhanced data-logging software features, enables existing or new Iver2 AUVs to collect georeferenced magnetometer data. When paired with high-resolution sonars, the Iver2 will be able to collect photo-like images of targets along with magnetometer data.

Data Startup Adds More Tools to Prepare for Launch
Marinexplore Inc. (Sunnyvale, California) in October released a new version of its free platform for searching, visualizing and collaborating on ocean data. Still in its alpha stage, Marinexplore has raised $1.4 million in seed funding.

The new tool, the biggest update since Marinexplore's alpha launch in July, allows users to download satellite data for water temperature and salinity and combine it with in-situ data from more than 10 different ocean platforms. Users can share a view of the data in the new Labs area, asking for input from the community worldwide.

Lighthouse R & D Retrofits Cabled Ocean Observatory
Lighthouse R & D Enterprises Inc. (Houston, Texas) mobilized in October to retrofit its second cabled ocean observatory, the Lighthouse Ocean Research Initiative (LORI II).

The LORI II, which went live in 2010, measures physical oceanographic properties in the water column to the north, east and south of Ras al Hadd in the Arabian Sea. The three existing, 2,500-meter-long cabled moorings will be temporarily replaced by autonomous arrays.

Horizon Marine's New Online Mapping Portal
Horizon Marine Inc. (Marion, Massachusetts) launched in November an online, interactive mapping service for its EddyWatch subscribers, with a more 'Google-ish' look.

Proprietary data and analysis are available as layers for creating custom charts and displaying pertinent information. Weather data from ImpactWeather are also available to place offshore assets in context with each other and metocean conditions.

Maine Seeks Proposals for Energy Contracts
The Maine Public Utilities Commission has issued a request for proposals for long-term contracts for capacity, associated energy or renewable energy credits. Eligible renewable resources include tidal, wind and geothermal installations, and biomass and hydroelectric generators.

Selected bidders will enter into long-term contracts with one or more of Maine's utilities: Central Maine Power Co., Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. and Maine Public Service Co.

Initial proposals will be due March 1. Further information is available at http://1.usa.gov/RW0Jz7.

Project to Deepen Savannah Harbor Goes Forward
The Georgia Ports Authority received final approval to deepen its Savannah harbor to 47 feet, a $652 million project that will allow it to serve larger vessels expected after the completion of the Panama Canal expansion in 2015.

The U.S. Corps of Engineers estimates this will lower shipping costs for containerized trade by $213 million a year over the next 50 years. The State of Georgia has already committed $181.1 million to the project. Since the U.S. Army (Civil Works) issued approval, federal construction funds can be appropriated.

FET Sells Two Mojave ROVs to Consulting Firm
Forum Energy Technologies Inc. (FET), based in Houston, Texas, will supply two Sub-Atlantic Mojave ROV systems to Cummings Consulting Inc. (Defuniak Springs, Florida).

The Mojave systems, capable of reaching depths of 300 meters, were deployed for assessment analysis in November off the coast of Florida.

The ROVs will be equipped with electric winches, touch-screen control monitors, sub-can control systems, sonar, color and monochrome cameras, two three-function manipulators and FET's VisualSoft data capture software.

Crowley's Ocean-Class Tug Performs Inaugural Job
The first of four Crowley Maritime Corp. (Jacksonville, Florida) ocean-class tugboats, Ocean Wave, completed its first project in October by removing a grounded containership from the northern coast of Cuba.

Antilliana De Salvemento, a Cuban salvage company, subcontracted Titan Salvage (Pompano Beach, Florida) and T&T Marine Salvage (Houston, Texas).

The ocean-class tugs are suited to work with the company's 455 series high-deck strength barges. They are outfitted for long-range, high-capacity ocean towing, rig moves, platform and FPSO unit tows, and emergency response.

The containership was en route from Santiago de Cuba to Havana, Cuba, when it came ashore after losing power during Tropical Storm Isaac in late August. The Ocean Wave delivered the vessel to port in Havana.

CARIS Launches New Version of Freeware Viewer
CARIS (Fredericton, Canada) has released CARIS Easy View 4.0, a freeware data viewer for 2D and 3D data that replaces Easy View 2.0.

Support for new raster and vector file formats has been added or enhanced, including BAG v1.4. This allows users to display a range of publicly available data sources. A new command allows users to create GeoTIFF, PNG, TIF and KMZ images. Easy View comes in 32- and 64-bit versions.


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