An interesting business South of here

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When I was going to college, I majored in Marine Biology and Physical Oceanography at Boston University. I dropped out after three years because this was the time that all the kids who grew up watching the Jacques Cousteau movies were in college studying to be the next Jacques Cousteau themselves. There was no work available and what work there was was horribly paid. Also, at that time (1975), Popular Electronics published an article on building your own personal computer with the 8080 chip - other computer articles had been published the year previous but this was the first real system. I started working for a public aquarium in Boston - spent five years there - and built up my computer skills on the side.

I am still very interested in matters maritime and ran into this tonight - a company down in Everett, WA is building submarines and doing a very good job of it.

One project they have planned sounds really fascinating - from the OceanGate website:

Andrea Doria Survey Expedition
OceanGate has been contracted by Argus Expeditions to provide a manned submersible and marine operations team on an expediton to survey the iconic wreck of the Andrea Doria, an Italian flagged passenger liner that sank near Nantucket after colliding with the Stockholm, a Swedish passenger vessel outbound from New York.

The primary objective of the Andrea Doria Survey Expedition is to capture high-definition video footage and 3D sonar images of the shipwreck to document its current condition. The expedition goal is to establish accurate and reliable baseline data so explorers and scientists can better assess the decay of the wreck over time.

This iconic shipwreck has been explored by scuba divers and mixed-gas divers for decades – with the first dive occurring within hours of the sinking. These dives have resulted in limited views of the wreck due to the short bottom time available to divers (approx 20 minutes per dive) and limited visibility.

The sub they are going to use is the Cyclops 1 and one very cool feature is that it is built using COTS - Commercial Off The Shelf technologies. The piloting is done through a game controller, air circulation is done using computer fans, navigation and sonar data are displayed on consumer flat-screens, that sort of thing. This greatly lowers the cost of the building and operation.

Going to have to arrange for a tour through their place one of these days...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on May 23, 2016 11:12 PM.

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