Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21, was deployed from the vessel around 2am this morning

ADV Ocean Shield has arrived back in the search area.

The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21, was deployed from the vessel around 2am this morning. It remains underwater on its search mission.

Over the next week, Bluefin-21 will search the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals detected in early April by the Towed Pinger Locator deployed from Ocean Shield that are within its depth operating limits.

This continues the process that will ultimately enable the search team to discount or confirm the area of the acoustic signals as the final resting place of MH370.

Ocean Shield is anticipated to depart the search area on 28 May and return to Fleet Base West on 31 May where it will demobilise the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle equipment and disembark the support team.

The Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen departed Fremantle yesterday to begin conducting the bathymetric survey of the areas provided by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The bathymetric survey—or mapping of the ocean floor—is being done in preparation for a commercially contracted deep ocean search, including towed side-scan sonar operations.

Chinese ship Haixun 01 will today begin transiting to the survey area to support the survey operations, including the weekly transportation of survey data to Fremantle for further processing by Geoscience Australia.

The Australian Defence Force’s Military Coordination and Sub-Surface Planning team, in consultation with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, will partner with Chinese units to conduct the survey.

The work continues to review and analyse all the data and information relating to the likely flight path of MH370, together with the information acquired in the course of the search to date. This work will confirm the best areas on which to focus an effective future search.

JACC Media Release
22 May 2014—pm


USSOCOM 2014. Shopping at Tampa

Photo By Tamara Lush/AP In this May 20, 2014 photo a remote control video is displayed strapped onto a large toy dog at the Special Ops Conference in Tampa, Fla. The video can be strapped to a military dog’s backpack. The conference is one of the key events for the suppliers and contractors of elite commando units worldwide.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A conference for military special operations forces and their gadgets, weapons and tools is being held in Tampa, Florida, this week.

The Special Operations Forces Industry Conference is a key event for suppliers and contractors of elite commando units worldwide.

It’s not just US special operations forces that are shopping this week. International forces from 84 nations are also attending. On Wednesday, a multi-country group of commandos will perform land, sea and air exercises in downtown Tampa.

On the convention floor, there was plenty to see and buy. Among the interesting wares:

– A HARV, or Highly Adaptive Robotic Vehicle. One version looks like a silver child’s ball, but the 4-pound sphere with cameras can be thrown, controlled remotely and outfitted with night vision and microphones for quick surveillance.

– A lightweight medium machine gun that uses .338 Norma Magnum cartridges, eliminating the gap between .762mm and .50 caliber weapons. It’s capable of defeating Level III body armor and “incapacitating soft skinned vehicles,” according to a General Dymanics fact sheet.

  • A torpedo-shaped underwater robot called Bluefin 21. It’s built by a subsidiary of Battelle, Bluefin Robotics. One of these vehicles is currently being used to search the ocean floor for the site of the missing Malaysian airplane.

  • A remote controlled video monitor that can be strapped to a military dog’s backpack.

  • An “RP Strike-M Maverick LTV,” which is a rugged all-terrain quad with a large weapon mounted to the back.

Source: Chron 5/21/14



Unmanned underwater vehicles market forecast to total US$4.8Bn by 2019

Unmanned underwater vehicles market is forecast to be worth US$4.84 billion by 2019. The global UUV market will exhibit a robust growth over the next five years. The global ROV market is estimated to be $1.2 billion in 2014 and is expected to register a CAGR of 20.11% in 2019. The global AUV market is estimated to be $457 million in 2014 and is expected to register a CAGR of 31.95% in 2019.

The ROV and AUV markets are driven by the increasing need of ROV and AUV in areas such as offshore drilling; oceanographic studies; underwater inspection and maintenance; and surveillance and security. With the evolution of technology, better endurance, miniaturization, and enhanced payloads, ROV and AUV are efficiently used for undersea activities. The commercialization of ROV and AUV and its increased capabilities have revolutionized their growth over the years. Offshore drilling will remain the prime sector for ROV. Defense and oceanographic studies will remain a major sector for AUV.

The Asia-Pacific, Latin American, and African regions will prove to be emerging markets for the Unmanned Underwater Vehicles. SAAB (Sweden), Fugro (The Netherlands), Oceaneering (U.S.), will be the market leaders that occupy a significant market share for ROV. Kongsberg (Norway), Teledyne (U.S.), Bluefin Robotics (U.S.), and Atlas Elekronik (Germany), will be the leaders in the AUV market.

The global unmanned underwater vehicles market is forecast to total US$4.84 Billion by 2019, growing at a high CAGR from 2014 to 2019. The global ROV market is estimated to be $1.2 Billion in 2014 and expected register a CAGR of 20.11% in 2019. The global AUV market is estimated to be $457 Million in 2014 and expected register a CAGR of 31.95% in 2019.

The typical lifecycle of ROV is 8-10 years and AUV is 6-8 years, with maintenance and subsystem replacements that take place mid lifecycle.

The ROV market future can be dominated by the AUV in the coming decades. The improved AUV capabilities and the autonomy feature will involve the AUV for operationsthat restrict the use of ROV due to entanglement. The endurance and miniaturization of AUV will strive to be the prime driver for undersea operations. The introduction of the AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) systems and solar cells technology will change the future of the AUV.

In the Asia-Pacific region specifically, the BRIC countries will prove to be the emerging markets for the UUV with their activities in the scientific research, and oil and gas sectors. The growth in North America and Europe will be sluggish compared to Latin American, Asia-Pacific, and the Africa. APAC countries will focus on growth, try to create obvious market space, and direct their region’s economies on a higher course in the future. The UUV market will show a stringent growth for defense operations like anti-submarine warfare, including oil and gas applications like mine hunting, mine counter measures, oil rig constructions, and pipeline inspection activities.

Other technological trends will include the miniaturization of AUV and the increased number of payloads for the ROV to perform complex ultra-deepwater operations. Also, the reduction in the price of ROV and AUV will be a major concern for manufacturers.

Unmanned underwater vehicles market forecast to total US$4.8Bn by 2019

Bluefin 21 Searching for Malaysia 370: the Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) connection


Publicado el 14/05/2014

Insight into how unmanned underwater vehicles are aiding in the search for the missing Malaysia 370 Boeing 777 airliner. John Keller discusses with David Kelly, president and CEO of Bluefin Robotics, whose company is provided the unmanned submersibles that are spearheading the search.

Source: Military & Aerospace Electronics


Bluefin-2. Spare parts for both defects will be dispatched from the United Kingdom

As advised yesterday, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21, was recovered about two hours into its first mission since returning to the search area so a communications problem could be investigated.

During the recovery, Bluefin-21 was damaged but was able to be repaired expeditiously with spare parts on board the ADV Ocean Shield.

Examination of the communications problem has established that a hardware defect exists in the transponder mounted on the Ocean Shield and that a defect may also exist in the transponder mounted on the Bluefin-21. This inhibits the ability of the two devices to communicate with each other.

As a consequence, spare parts for both defects will be dispatched from the United Kingdom. The parts are expected to arrive in Western Australia on Sunday.

Ocean Shield is currently en route to Dampier, Western Australia, to receive the transponder parts. The journey is anticipated to take a number of days. At this stage, Ocean Shield is expected go alongside so engineers can make a full assessment of the transponder repairs.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre will provide further information regarding the serviceability of Bluefin-21 and the movements of Ocean Shield as it becomes available.

Source: JACC

Bluefin-21 was deployed from Ocean Shield yesterday afternoon but was recovered about two hours later to investigate communications problems

14 May 2014—pm. After a short port visit, the ADV Ocean Shield yesterday returned to the vicinity of the acoustic signals acquired by the Towed Pinger Locator in April to continue the underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21, was deployed from Ocean Shieldyesterday afternoon but was recovered about two hours later to investigate communications problems. Work continues to rectify the issue and to date, Bluefin-21 has not redeployed.

The international search effort presently includes assets from Australia, the People’s Republic of China, Malaysia and the United States.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) has relocated from Perth to Canberra and is based at the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

The JACC now includes a Military Coordination and Sub-Surface Planning Cell, which includes a Royal Australian Navy Hydrographer and US Navy Sea Systems Command representative.

Preparations to conduct the bathymetric survey are continuing. A Chinese survey ship is now in the search area and will assist in preparations for future operations.

Vessels from Australia, Malaysia and China and a RAAF aircraft remain on standby should any debris on the surface require investigation.

Source: JACC

Bluefin 21 smashed into the Australian vessel Ocean Shield, losing a day in the search

May 13, 2014 8:19 PM– Crews are battling rough conditions as they continue to search for the missing Malaysian airliner.

Satellite tracking companies are looking at ways to improve tracking methods for planes flying out of radar range.

Bluefin 21 smashed into the Australian vessel Ocean Shield, losing a day in the search. The underwater vehicle had its propeller torn, tail ripped off and electronics bay damaged on its first day back in the search zone.

Struggling with wind and 3′ to 5′ waves, the damage happened as crews hoisted it on deck for inspection. The day’s mission was aborted and no data was collected.

The Bluefin was repaired and resumed its search within hours.

WDAM.COM – TV 7 – Video CNN

Half a world away, the consensus is never again. In a bid to prevent another Flight 370, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the aviation arm of the United Nations, said all jetliners should be tracked continuously, especially in the most remote parts of the world.

By the end of the year, airlines with international flights will voluntarily start this global tracking. Some have already started, but there’s no timeline for when binding standards and regulations mandating global flight tracking will go into effect.

“We feel that it is fairly important factor that we’re moving as quickly as possible because the flying public deserves to have even more safe conditions when they fly,” said Kevin Hiatt, International Air Transportation Association senior vice president of safety and flight operations.

The group’s recommendations are advisory but usually become law. The ongoing mystery of Flight 370 is fueling urgency to act now.

Satellite tracking companies are jockeying for favor among airlines. Immarsat, the British company whose analysis led crews to the search zone, said they’ll track planes for free. Competing companies like Globalstar are making a pitch too.

“You can continuously track one second at a time for continuously across any trip and know exactly where an airplane is. That is invaluable, and in the case of 370, it would have told us whether the plane turned, whether the plane continued straight and when it stopped emitting all together,” said Jay Monroe, CEO and chairman of Globalstar.

There’s still no concrete evidence about what went wrong onboard Flight 370, but its disappearance is about to change the way all planes in the air are tracked.

A special task force will release recommendations for global flight tracking in another four months. Flights are tracked now using radar, satellite technology and position reports, but there are dead spots when it comes to those methods. The task force is working on global tracking that would work even if planes are over the Indian Ocean and out of radar’s reach.

Source: Wdam