Live images of historical shipwrecks are being filmed by a Saab Seaeye Falcon ROV and beamed directly to educational and public audiences ashore in a live telepresence-enabled exploration project.
The University of Rhode Island’s research vessel, Endeavor, is exploring the remains of two shipwrecks located off the coast of Rhode Island. They include the German U-Boat U-853, sunk at the very end of World War Two.
Also aboard Endeavor, a scientific team is a conducting an acoustic tracking experiment for tracking fish using newly developed technology.
The programme is aimed at raising public awareness and for educating students about significant historical and natural resources located off the coast of Rhode Island.
Schools, colleges and the general public are able to view live programs over the Internet – broadcast in high bandwidth – using the ship-to-shore satellite telepresence system and the video streaming facilities at the Inner Space Center.
TV channel, Rhode Island PBS is also simulcasting the live webcasts.
Named Deep Reef by the exploration team, their Saab Seaeye Falcon is equipped with camera technology used in movies like ‘Avatar’, and low-light cameras that can see in the dark, along with single-mode fibre optics and a gigabyte Ethernet.
Prior to the Falcon’s exploration a side-scan sonar system surveyed the shipwreck sites ready to construct a dive plan for navigating the ROV safely around each wreck.
In addition to exploring shipwrecks, Dr David Gruber, associate professor of biology at City University New York, says the Falcon will image the seabed sedimentary geological formations and the marine biological habitat associated with the wreck sites and surrounding region.
He adds that the scientific team will also conduct an acoustic tracking experiment with newly developed technology that includes a miniature archival tag for long-range fish tracking.
Source: Saab Seaeye