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BWCC CEO Attends 2015 Oceaneering/Marine Technology Society Symposium


Oceaneering’s Advanced Technical  facility in Hanover, MD is a fascinating place, and I was honored to be invited to the annual symposium, held in cooperating with the Marine Technology Society, which showcases many vendors and their capabilities in supporting deep sea, space and entertainment robotics.

One of the people I met was Charlie Spann of C&C Technologies, an Oceaneering company,  who shared with me the nuances of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), the C-Surveyor VI.  It is used to inspect and document the survey life-cycles of pipelines and peripheral seafloor assets.  C & C has performed a wide variety of specialized AUV surveys including downed aircraft searches, deepwater coral mapping, and high-resolution micro seismic at four-meter line spacing.  Want to see how it works?  Go here.

The keynote speaker for the program was Dr. James Bellingham, who serves as the first director of the Center for Marine Robotics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts. Bellingham earned his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was founder and manager of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Laboratory.  He was also co-founder of Bluefin Robotics in 1997, a Massachusetts-based company that develops, builds and operates autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).  Bluefin was later acquired by Battelle.

Dr. Bellingham noted that the world will increasingly go to the oceans for resources and that applies not only to oil and gas, but for telecommunications and aquaculture.  He also envisions that a town like Quincy, MA, with a heritage tied to the maritime industry, will see not ships– but deep sea robotic systems–being developed there. Indeed, he said, “We will be changed by the oceans.” The oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contain 97 percent of the Earth’s water. The oceans also contain 99 percent of the living space on the planet and phytoplankton in the oceans contribute between 50 to 85 percent of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere.



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