Illustration copyright Andrea Gatti

Titanic Survey Expedition: 2018

OceanGate Expeditions will conduct a series of week-long manned submersible operations in the north Atlantic Ocean to begin its first Titanic Survey Expedition starting in 2018.

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:

  • Create a detailed 3D model of the shipwreck and portions of the debris field using the latest multi-beam sonar, laser scanning and photogrammetric technology.
  • Supplement the work done by the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to capture data and images for the continued scientific study of the site.
  • Document the condition of the wreck with high-definition photographs and video.
  • Document the flora and fauna inhabiting the wreck site for comparison with data collected on prior scientific expeditions to better assess changes in the habitat and maritime heritage site.

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.



Fast Facts:

Expedition Dates:
May - July, 2018

Location:
Approximately 380 nautical miles south of Newfoundland

Dive Sites: 1

Dives Planned: 18

Maximum Depth:
3,800 meters (12,800 feet)

The majestic RMS Titanic prior to her tragic collision with an iceberg.

The Titanic sinking.

Titanic survivors onboard a lifeboat awaiting rescue.