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December 2015 Issue

ULS-500 Laser Systems
For Offshore Inspection

2G Robotics delivered two deep­rated ULS­500 subsea laser systems to Oceaneering International, Inc.’s business unit, Oceaneering Survey Services (C&C Technologies).

Including these two ULS­500 systems, Oceaneering now utilizes six of the ULS­500 systems with its AUVs as part of its advanced survey and inspection services for assessing pipeline and flowline integrity. Oceaneering has used the ULS-500 to inspect 2,500 km of pipeline and flowline.

The ULS­500 is designed for dynamic scanning, with development focused on subsea vehicle integration, high sample rates, and timing synchronization for efficient and accurate data acquisition.

The high density of data equips Oceaneering with the best information possible for making informed decisions and ensuring continued safe offshore operations.


DTG2 Surveys
Under Arctic Ice

Dr. Alex Nimmo Smith and Peter Ganderton from the Plymouth University Marine Physics Research Group used a Deep Trekker DTG2 “Worker” during a recent research trip to the Arctic. The Deep Trekker was successfully operated through ice holes in -2° C water, with tasks including the inspection of other instruments and providing a visual survey of the underside of the ice. A combination of slight positive buoyancy and the mounting of the optional crawler wheels on the top of the unit enabled stable driving along the underside of the ice in the frozen fjord.

The small, self-contained, self-powered system was ideal for the intended operations. Since the team was operating close to the -5° C minimum, the DTG2 was kept “warm” in the water between deployments as the air temperature dropped to -26° C.


Optimarin First to Meet
Toughest USCG Rules

Optimarin has become the first UV system supplier to meet the most stringent U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) marine water requirements, positioning the Norwegian company for full USCG approval in 2016. In a series of land-based tests, both the standard MPN (regrowth) method and the more exacting FDA/CMFDA, or “instant kill”, benchmark were successfully assessed.

Optimarin’s system utilizes environmentally friendly UV irradiation and back-flushing filters to wipe out invasive organisms that stow away in ballast. Systems employing UV lamps have so far proven their ability to meet the MPN standard, rendering organisms unable to reproduce, but, until now, none have achieved the instant kill capability demanded by USCG.

Testing of Optimarin’s system was carried out by DNV GL at the NIVA test facility in Norway. Further tests of remaining water salinities are now scheduled for spring 2016, after which point approval is expected later in the year.


Removing Destructive
Starfish From Maldives

During October and November, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation removed 7,396 coral-eating Crown of Thorns starfish (COTS) from vulnerable reefs in the Maldives.

Foundation scientists worked with local divers as part of the foundation’s ongoing Starfish Control and Removal (SCAR) Program to protect reefs. The timing was designed to protect any bleaching-resistant corals from predation in advance of a possible warming and bleaching of the reefs next year.

COTS are a significant threat to coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific. When outbreaks are not controlled quickly, COTS often consume all the coral in one area and spread to neighboring reefs. Severe outbreaks of COTS can destroy an entire reef system in a matter of weeks, and reefs may require decades or more to recover. COTS outbreaks could have a devastating impact on dive tourism.


Plastic Found in
Chinese Sea Salt

When researchers analyzed 15 brands of common table salt bought at supermarkets across China, they found microparticles of the common water bottle plastic polyethylene terephthalate, as well as polyethylene, cellophane and a wide variety of other plastics, the American Chemical Society reported.

The highest level of plastic contamination was found in salt sourced from the ocean: The researchers measured more than 250 particles of plastic per pound of sea salt. The team also found tiny particles of plastic in salt sourced from briny lakes, briny wells and salt mines.

The plastic contamination may originate from the vast amount of plastic pollution floating around marine environments where sea salt is sourced. Bits of plastics might abrade from larger objects, such as water bottles, dumped in the water, or they might come from cosmetic products, such as face washes, that use plastic microbeads as exfoliants. Other points of entry for plastic contamination are possible, including during salt processing, drying and packaging.

Given that manufacturers typically extract sea salt from ocean water by evaporation, which leaves everything behind but water, microplastic contamination of sea salt is likely prevalent outside China as well.


Three Manuals for
Oceanographic Data QC

The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Quality Assurance/Quality Control of Real-Time Oceanographic Data (QARTOD) project published three data quality control (QC) manuals that provide guidance to 11 U.S. IOOS Regional Associations, as well as other ocean-observing entities that collect and provide oceanographic data to a diverse data-user community. These QC manuals (www.ioos.noaa.gov/qartod) establish written, authoritative procedures for the QC of real-time data and meet the requirements in the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (ICOOS) Act of 2009.

Extensive reviews and input from subject matter experts representing national and international organizations within the ocean-observing community were considered, including sensor manufacturers and academic institutions. U.S. IOOS also actively solicits feedback from operators (those who collect and provide data) who have used the manual as guidance for conducting real-time quality control for directional and nondirectional wave data, dissolved nutrients data, and in-situ current data. This feedback is incorporated as manuals are updated.


2015:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2014:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.