Ocean Infinity has donated 120,000 square kilometers of data from the search for missing Malaysian airliner to The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project.
Ocean Infinity’s data was collected by a fleet of eight autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), enabling the surveying company to gather data much more quickly than traditional mapping missions during its recent Indian Ocean search for the missing Malaysian airliner, MH370.
“Our deep water search for MH370 demonstrated the most rapid collection of high-resolution sonar data in history, and we are thrilled on World Hydrography Day to announce our donation to such a pioneering initiative,” announced Oliver Plunkett, CEO of Ocean Infinity.
The AUVs were transported to the search area by the research vessel, Seabed Constructor, and each houses industry-leading technology including a multibeam echosounder, sub-bottom profiler, HD camera and a wide array of sensors.
“The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 project is hungry for data and this is a priceless contribution to ocean science,” said Seabed Director, Satinder Bindra, adding “Their donation will undoubtedly encourage other companies to contribute data so we can all collectively support one of the UN’s Sustainable Development goals to use our ocean resources sustainably.”
Earlier this year it was announced that Fugro, an offshore private surveying company, donated almost 100,000 square kilometres of transit data – acquired while travelling between client projects- bringing the total private sector data donated to the project to 220,000 square kilometres, equivalent to almost the entire land mass of the United Kingdom.
With the inclusion of 710,000 square kilometres of open source bathymetric data released by Australia, this year’s map will incorporate at least 930,000 square kilometres of data not previously included in the global grid – an area larger in size than Nigeria.
Recognizing the power of crowdsourced data as a tool to empower all those who use our oceans to contribute to science, Seabed 2030 has been requesting donors to deposit their data with the International Hydrographic Organisation’s (IHO) Data Centre for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB), a digital repository in Boulder, Colorado, USA. “As the recognized archive for global bathymetry,
we’re excited to be a part of this international effort to map our oceans by continuing to provide access to the world’s largest collection of digital bathymetry,” said Jennifer Jencks, director of the IHO DCDB.