Autonomous underwater vehicles are expanding the realm of the possible in oceanic exploration and knowledge. Diving to depths untouched, they use sonar and other technologies to explore crevices, map the ocean floor and make new discoveries in seeing what lies beneath the surface.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently partnered with Boeing and Coda Octopus to re-discover and survey the former USS Independence, a World War II aircraft carrier that was scuttled by the U.S. Navy in 1951 and has been resting peacefully on the ocean floor just 30 miles off the coast of Half-Moon Bay, California, ever since.
Echo Ranger , Boeing’s bright yellow autonomous submersible, dove 2,600 feet deep to capture new sonar imaging of the ship to date, using Coda Octopus’ 3D Sonar imaging technology. NOAA now has better sonar imaging of this ship than ever before and will use this information to study the ship and the surrounding environment to learn more about how the ship has fared over the last 64 years.
As this technology continues to advance, the possible achievements in the world of marine and ocean science will continue to amaze.
Watch this video of Echo Ranger’s sonar mapping mission of the USS Independence to see it in action: