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Marine

Rendering of the C-Explorer 5 five-seater submarine

Personal submarine maker U-Boat Worx has commenced development work on its C-Explorer 5 submersible. Designed to send four passengers and one pilot to depths of up to 100 meters (328 ft.), the latest member of the company’s C-Explorer line of submersibles features a full 360-degree acrylic pressure hull to give everyone on board clear views of the underwater sights.  Read More

A new algorithmic system that automatically identifies underwater sounds in real time has ...

It’s always upsetting to hear about whales beaching themselves, and one of the leading theories on the phenomenon suggests that it may sometimes be due to noise pollution in the oceans. Whales navigate and communicate via sound, so it’s entirely possible that human-introduced noises (such as those produced by ships, oil rigs, or naval navigational beacons) could confuse them, and throw them off course – it has even been posited that noises such as military sonar could deafen or kill them. In an effort to better understand the link between ocean noises and whale well-being, researchers from Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) have developed a first-ever system that identifies undersea sounds – both human and cetacean – in real time.  Read More

Scientists are using a Scan Eagle UAV and image recognition software to track seals on the...

The Arctic region is currently experiencing a warming trend which is seeing the ice cap break apart, and may even ultimately result in the total absence of ice in the summer months. Many scientists attribute this trend to man made global warming, but whatever the cause, it’s not good news for the seals that breed, rest, and escape marine predators on the ice. In an effort to understand the full scope of the situation, scientists have turned to the Boeing-designed Scan Eagle – an unmanned aerial vehicle more often used for military reconnaissance.  Read More

Ultimate VCI Protection bags are plastic bags which are said to keep steel tools stored in...

Fishermen, sailors, and other people who take to the sea will know how quickly and easily steel tools begin to rust in a marine environment. One method of dealing with the problem involves spraying the tools with oil before storage, then wiping them off before use. New Jersey-based company Leland Limited, however, is now offering what it describes as a simpler, more eco-friendly alternative: plastic tool-storage bags that prevent rust.  Read More

Dolphins were the inspiration for a new type of sonar called twin inverted pulse sonar (TW...

By measuring the differences between emitted sound pulses and their echoes sonar is able to detect and identify targets such as reefs, wrecks, submarines and fish shoals. However, standard sonar has limitations in shallow water because bubble clouds, which result from breaking waves or other causes, can scatter sound and clutter the sonar image. Inspired by the exceptional sonar capabilities of dolphins, scientists have now developed a new underwater device that can outperform standard sonar and detect objects through bubble clouds.  Read More

Tethys floating at the sea surface in Monterey Bay (Image: Todd Walsh copyright 2010 MBARI...

When it comes to exploring the murky depths of the oceans, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have become increasingly important over the past decade. These vehicles generally fall into one of two groups: propeller-driven vehicles such as Snookie that can travel fast and carry lots of instruments, but are limited to expeditions of just a few days, and “gliders,” which can stay at sea for weeks or even months at a time, but are slow. Engineers have combined the best of these two approaches to create a new long-range AUV (LRAUV) that can travel rapidly for hundreds of kilometers, “hover” in the water for weeks at a time, and carry a wide variety of instruments.  Read More

Steven Roberts' Microship micro-trimaran

Are you “mediagenic, geeky, youthful, and insanely adventurous”? Those are the qualities that Steven Roberts is seeking in the new owner of his custom pedal/wind/solar-powered micro-trimaran, the Microship. A self-described “technomad,” Roberts is a huge fan of high technology and self-propelled solo adventuring, and the quirky little boat is clearly the lovechild of those two passions. It has a host of high-tech features, yet is intended for escaping the rat race and living simply. Ironic? Maybe, but it comes with a great story.  Read More

The C-Explorer 2

Using the same technology proven in its existing C-Quester models, which can dive to depths of up to 100m (328 feet), Dutch luxury submarine manufacturer U-Boat Worx has announced a new line of exploration submersibles certified for diving to depths from 100 to 1,000m (328 to 3,280-feet). Named C-Explorers, the new line of diving machines are available in configurations for one to six passengers and are being marketed to scientists, research organizations, luxury superyacht owners, aquatic tourism ventures and private explorers.  Read More

The marine rescue UAV prototype

People often need to be rescued at sea because of stormy weather – exactly the kind of conditions in which it is not safe to fly. Nonetheless, fully-crewed helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are regularly sent out into such weather to perform maritime rescues, endangering both the crew and the expensive aircraft themselves. Soon, however, a new type of unmanned remote-control aircraft may be able to do the job. Not only would flight crews be kept out of harm’s way, but as demonstrated by a functioning prototype, the aircraft would outperform conventional planes in rough weather, thanks to shape-shifting technology.  Read More

Barnacles are a major cause of fouling of ship hulls (Image: NOAA)

Fouling of hulls is a major problem for world shipping – for private leisure craft as well as large cargo ships – with barnacles being a major culprit. It reduces the performance of vessels and increases their fuel requirements. Medetomidine has proved effective in preventing fouling of ship bottoms and now researchers attempting to develop new, environmentally friendly methods to limit marine fouling have identified the gene that causes barnacles to react to the substance, opening up the possibility of an antifouling paint that is gentle to both barnacles and the environment.  Read More

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