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Autonomous submarines to create a Street View of the depths of the Ocean

An Australian startup based in Melbourne presented a special project: the construction of a submarine fleet to scan the ocean floor to create a kind of submarine version of Street View, a famous service developed by Google to explore every road in the world through 3D.

A new project called “WaterView,” presented at CEBIT 2019, will also allow anyone to see the seafloor.

The first submarine built for launch is a stand-alone model that uses a variety of tools including cameras, sonars and motion tracking devices to map the seabed. The submarine can travel more than 60 miles at a depth of 200 meters and can capture 360° images using a series of 22 battery-powered cameras, allowing 40 hours of battery life.

However, the maximum depth of 200 meters is the limit that will most likely be reached by the same launch next year, when new submarines can reach up to one kilometer underwater.

The submarine, based on UAM Tec (Submarine Autonomous Mapping Technology), is the first autonomous submarine to map the ocean floor and, according to the same creators and founders Benjamin Fleming and Sean Taylor, the same technology will change our understanding of the ocean and could be very useful in science.

“The fact that we know more about space than about our oceans is unacceptable with today’s technology,” said the founders of Business Insider Australia.

What can we do with autonomous submarines that scan and photograph the seafloor in 3D? First of all, it will benefit scientific institutes because they can find, or at least have a first look at, everything they are interested in in the ocean on a computer screen, without having to bear the huge costs of a scientific mission with the help of ships and submarine camera or camera devices.

For example, it will be much easier to detect new species of marine animals, and it will also be easier to track climate change.

It will also be possible to improve the efficiency of operations such as search and rescue or shipwreck detection operations, black boxes, and anything else that may be needed to rest on the ocean floor. Anyone can be a “scientist” and, if weather permits, can explore the ocean floor in search of strange life forms and perhaps choose their own scientific name, as amateur astronomers do when they discover a new astronomical body.

Martin Hill

An accomplished journalist and freelancer, Martin has held a long career in media and has worked for numerous different agencies. He was an editor for the Arizona Business Gazette for over 10 years before joining the Tucson Weekly (tucsonweekly.com) and founding Science In Me, a new publication with the aim of reporting on science news over the internet. Beyond having extensive writing and research experience, Martin is also a science enthusiast with a passion for science and technology. In his younger life, he had studied mechanical engineering before moving on to journalism.
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Martin Hill