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/Coda Octopus and NOAA Use Echoscope to Obtain High Res 3D Images of Sunken WWII ship
Coda Octopus reports that NOAA, working with Boeing, have used the Echoscope real-time 3D sonar to generate distinctive 3D images of the former USS independence, a light aircraft carrier which saw service during the American naval offensive in the Pacific during World War II.
Scientists and technicians on the sanctuary vessel R/V Fulmar followed the Boeing AUV as it glided 150 feet above the wreck and successfully surveyed the carrier’s nearly intact hull. The survey determined that Independence is upright, slightly listing to starboard, with much of its flight deck intact, and with gaping holes leading to the hangar decks that once housed the carrier’s aircraft.
The carrier is sitting at a depth of 2,600 feet near California’s Farallon Islands. It has been described as “amazingly intact” by NOAA scientists. The hull and flight deck are clearly visible and there appears to be a plane in the hangar bay. The carrier was operating in the Pacific from 1943 through to 1945. It was later used as part of a target fleet for the 1946 Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests. The ship was finally scuttled in 1951 after being studied by Navy.
NOAA has been using Echoscope technology since 2013 when Coda Octopus provided a 3D image of the Fernstream wreck near San Francisco. After evaluating this detailed, 3D image NOAA was able to more accurately assess the potential environmental threat. The Echoscope is a volumetric sonar that produces over 16,000 beam per ping, enabling it to provide real-time geo-referenced mapping and images. Real-time detailed images enable users to make immediate assessments, see features that may not be shown by other sonars and to adjust their dynamic survey to further reduce shadows and see more details.
“By using technology to create three-dimensional maps of the seafloor and wrecks like Independence, we can not only explore, but share what we’ve learned with the public and other scientists,” said Frank Cantelas, archaeologist with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. To see sonar images, historical photos and other materials, visit http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/shipwrecks/independence/.
NOAA’s interest in Independence is part of a mandated and ongoing two-year mission to locate, map and study historic shipwrecks in Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and nearby waters. The carrier is one of an estimated 300 wrecks in the waters off San Francisco, and the deepest known shipwreck in the sanctuary. The mission was conducted last month using an 18½-foot long autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Echo Ranger, provided by the Boeing Company through a cooperative research and development agreement with NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Coda Octopus’s real time 3D sonar, the Echoscope, was integrated into the AUV.
The news was picked up by ITV news in the UK - http://www.itv.com/news/2015-04-17/us-navy-aircraft-carrier-discovered-amazingly-intact-on-pacific-ocean-floor-after-60-years/
Boeing also created a video summarizing the job - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOzNnth7j7w
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