Given the massive scale of the wreck and the debris field, multiple missions performed over several years will be required to fully document and model the wreck. This longitudinal survey to collect images, video and sonar data will provide an objective basis to assess the decay of the wreck over time and help document and preserve its submerged history.
The exploration team will conduct annual surveys of the wreck in collaboration with experts from the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory (AIVL) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as part of an on-going long-term study to document the current condition of the Titanic maritime heritage site.
The seven-week expedition will depart from St. John’s, Newfoundland in late May 2018 with scientists, content experts, and mission specialists joining the crew in a series of week-long missions. The expedition crew size for each mission is about 20 people, including nine mission specialists, submersible pilots, and operations crew. Qualified individuals join the crew as mission specialists to support the mission by helping to underwrite the expedition and by actively assisting the team aboard the submersible and the ship in roles such as communications, navigation, sonar operation, photography, and dive planning.
The Titanic Survey Expedition will conduct an annual scientific and technological survey of the wreck with a mission to:
Experts from the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory (AIVL) at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will collaborate on the expedition. Bill Lange, director of the AIVL at WHOI, has participated in previous expeditions to Titanic. His team will provide imaging and lighting equipment and will lead efforts to capture images of the wreck from the submersible and then assemble these overlapping images into a 3D photographic model of the wreck after returning to the surface.
Expeditions are to be conducted respectfully and in accordance with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Guidelines for Research, Exploration and Salvage of RMS Titanic [Docket No. 000526158–1016–02]. Note: these guidelines comply with UNESCO guidelines for the preservation of underwater world heritage sites.