New Technology and Tools

Some of our technology doesn't fit into neat categories. Here is a sample of some of the other technologies we use on board the vessels, including GPS and Navigation systems and the highly advanced split beam sonar device used during the 2011 cruise.

GPS and Navigation Systems

Advanced GPS and Navigation Systems including radar allow the ship to safely navigate the busy waters of the Chukchi Sea. These systems provide clear location information for managing the scientific program as well as radar returns on other vessels in the area to prevent mishaps. Technology aside, communication is key and a simultaneous operations conference call is organized by Olgoonik/Fairweather every day at 16:00 during operations to allow research teams in the Chukchi Sea to communicate their intentions for the day and next few days.

Satellite Communications

In 2013, both Olgoonik-Fairweather vessels updated their satellite communications technology to increase bandwidth for users on the vessel. This allowed researchers to send data to onshore management, keep in touch with family and work, as well as test video streaming technology. Both vessels worked with the satellite carriers to provide a data package for a set fee for ease in budgeting purposes.

Un-Manned Technology

In 2013, Olgoonik/Fairweather took part in two un-manned technology pilot studies. From the R/V Westward Wind, our team deployed the Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aerial system (UAS) on behalf of ConocoPhillips. This flight was the first civil type certificate for an UAS to be flown commercially (See also: FAA News, ConocoPhilips Press Release, Anchorage Daily News). Olgoonik/Fairweather and Liquid Robotics Oil and Gas (LROG) teamed to deploy the Wave Glider, an un-manned underwater vehicle (UUV), to test its ability to operate in the Chukchi Sea during September. Both operations were conducted safely and successfully.

Split Beam Sonar

Split beam sonar is a valuable tool for assessing fish habitat through mobile acoustics. It can be used to assess anadromous waters as well as to map habitat in rivers and estuaries. The advanced digital acoustics systems are also capable of locating a target, whether fish or even something as small as krill, in 3D space, since the split beam allows you to calculate a precise location including the target's velocity.

Retrieving the UAS
Waveglider ready for deployment on deck. The float and sub are attached with a quick release mechanism that is released once the glider is in the water.
Waveglider ready for release.
The satellite communications aboard the ship provide email access to the crew and live updates from the field