The water ahead of the zodiac is almost calm as Ron Lewis, (M.Eng.) approaches the shore. Just ahead of him the water ripples as the Explorer, an autonomous underwater vehicle, returns from its pre-programmed mission and docks at the nearby wharf. Once lift cables are hooked on, the winch operator slowly hoists the 4.5 meter-long AUV with a difference: a 3.5 meter long wing strapped across its belly. There is no back slapping, but the team of researchers on the water and onshore at the Holyrood Marine Base, an hour`s drive from St. John’s, know that, after 12 days of sea trials, they have passed an important hurdle.
This is the culmination of a two-year partnership to deploy proven acoustic marine technology in an innovative way. The partners include PanGeo Subsea Inc. and the Responsive AUV Localization and Mapping Project (REALM) at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s.
Speaking by telephone from Paris where he was attending a World Ocean Council meeting, Gary Dinn says the project had its genesis in the halls of a federal funding agency. It was 2010 when Dinn, vice president for technology development with PanGeo, struck up a conversation with a bureaucrat familiar with his company’s acoustic technology. She thought he would be interested in the REALM project which had renewed research funding. “They were deploying their AUV with broadly available technology, but wanted an edge. The marriage of their AUV with our patented SBI technology presented a unique industrial application that couldn’t happen anywhere else,” says Dinn. Read the Full Story. Click Here.