OceanGate is kicking off the New Year in New Orleans, where we are participating this week at Underwater Intervention 2013, the combined annual conference of the Association of Diving Contractors International and the Marine Technology Society’s ROV Committee. The first UI conference was held in 1993, and over the past 20 years the gathering has grown into what is now considered the premier event bringing together operators of manned-submersibles, ROVs, AUVs and UUVs. The conference has drawn together numerous commercial-diving contractors, as well as industry leaders in instruments and sensors, sonar and acoustics, ocean engineering, and marine salvage.
A feature of UI are technical sessions in which underwater operations experts participate in panel discussions in their professional areas. Among these experts are OceanGate co-founders Stockton Rush and Guillermo Söhnlein, who are both presenting papers this week.
Söhnlein’s paper, “The Rise of Private Sector Funding for Manned Ocean Exploration,” focuses on the current trend among explorers, especially those utilizing manned submersibles, to solicit financial backing from individuals and corporate sponsors. His presentation examines some of the drivers of this change, reviews several case studies, and proposes helpful guidelines for successful projects.
Rush’s paper, “Using Manned Submersibles to Create 3D Sonar Scans of Shipwrecks,” analyzes recent advancements in small low-power 3D microbathymetry systems developed by Teledyne BlueView Technologies. These systems allow small manned submersibles to serve as stable platforms for creating extremely detailed 3D images of submerged shipwrecks. OceanGate has teamed with BlueView to integrate these systems on OceanGate’s flagship submersible, Antipodes. Rush’s presentation details how challenges related to the physical location of the pan and tilt sonar system, as well as operational techniques to obtain the correct submersible placement and scan overlaps for proper indexing of the various images, have been explored and solved.
OceanGate is looking forward to the opportunity UI offers to network with our industry partners and to develop contacts. We’re taking a lead in networking efforts by sponsoring a cocktail party to bring together a who’s who of the international manned-submersible community, which has gathered together for the 10th annual Manned Underwater Vehicles program at UI.
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