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AUV mapping cruise on the R/V RONALD H. BROWN
This story entered on 11th Sep, 2007 12:53:01 PM PST

NOAA’S Undersea Research Program (NURP) National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST) successfully tested and operated its Autonomous Undersea Vehicle (AUV), Eagle Ray, during a 16-day cruise on the NOAA ship RONALD H. BROWN. The Eagle Ray is designed to produce high-resolution seafloor mapping at depths up to 2200 meters. Chief Scientist on board was Dr. Peter Rona from Rutgers University. The major scientific goal of the cruise was to provide higher resolution mapping of fish and lobster habitats in Hudson Canyon than previously available. The Brown ported in Boston Harbor and stopped at NOAA’s Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary for an initial calibration test of the AUV before proceeding to Hudson Canyon off New Jersey.

“The AUV operated perfectly,” said Vern Asper, Director of NIUST’s Undersea Vehicle Technology Center. “Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate and only half of the study area was mapped on this trip.” Data provided by AUV team leader Lance Horn of the University of North Carolina Wilmington show that the Eagle Ray mapped a total of 94.5 km2 during six deployments in the Canyon averaging 14 hours duration. According to Chief Scientist Rona, the new seafloor maps provide 3-m resolution, compared to 100-m resolution previously available. Dr. Rona plans to propose future cruises to continue mapping Hudson Canyon.

Contact information
Name: Raymond C Highsmith
Tel: (662) 915-6507

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Updated: October 1, 2007