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July-Sept 2012
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Groundfish Scientists Attend Workshop on Autonomous Underwater Vehicles 

refer to caption below
Figure 15. NOAA personnel preparing a new HarborScan AUV for shoreside deployment at the NMFS Panama City Laboratory.

The NMFS Advanced Survey Technology Working Group convened a workshop at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center’s Panama City Laboratory on 17-21 September 2012 to evaluate and develop expertise with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Representatives from NOAA Fisheries science centers, the NOAA Office of Coast Survey (OCS) and the U.S. Navy were invited to participate in discussions about owning and operating AUVs; NOAA AUV resources; technical attributes of AUVs that are applicable to fisheries research; and practical aspects of AUV deployment and use.

The 4-day workshop included technical presentations the first day which reviewed the technology, available assets and mission-planning procedures. The group visited the National Unmanned Systems Shared Resource Center on day 2, where U.S. Navy representatives displayed several of their AUVs and related technologies. The remainder of that day was spent aboard the 135-ft MV Lilly Bordelon where workshop participants observed launch and recovery equipment and survey operations with different AUV systems. Some of the group returned to the Lilly Bordelon on day 3 while others observed a shore-based launch of a newly acquired AUV belonging to the OCS Hydrographic Systems & Technology Programs (Fig. 15). The final 2wo days of the workshop were devoted to a review of data and observations from the field deployments and preparations for a technical report summarizing information from the workshop. David Somerton and Bob McConnaughey represented the AFSC.

By Bob McConnaughey

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