Ocean tech company to map 5,000 square kilometres of Atlantic ocean floor

The Ocean Seeker slipped into Halifax harbour largely unnoticed earlier this month. The 20-metre lengthy aluminum catamaran is tied up at a former coast guard base in Dartmouth the place it’ll spend the winter.

Despite the low-key arrival, Ocean Seeker represents a milestone for a significant Canadian program to advertise the ocean financial system.

In the approaching months, the previous RCMP patrol vessel, owned by Kraken Robotics of St John’s, will bear a $2-million retrofit to hold refined sonars and lasers able to capturing detailed photographs of the ocean ground.

In the spring, it’ll set out for the Grand Banks on the primary of many journeys in a three-year mission to map 5,000-square kilometres of seabed all through Atlantic Canada.

Dave Shea, the vice-president of engineering at Kraken Robotics, mentioned the corporate is working with business fishing corporations, oil and gasoline operators, survey corporations and authorities on the enterprise.

Dave Shea, vice-president of engineering at Kraken Robotics, says the Ocean Seeker will have the ability to gather high-resolution information that was beforehand unavailable to industries like fisheries and oil and gasoline. (CBC)

Dubbed Ocean Vision, it’s the first — and thus far solely — mission authorized by the Ocean Supercluster, a joint industry-federal authorities program designed to spur ocean expertise innovation.

The firm’s sensors and software program gather extremely high-resolution photographs over a large space of the ocean ground, all the way down to three-by-three centimetre squares.

The photographs are so detailed they’ll map habitat, determine oil seeps, examine underwater installations like pipelines, or search for objects that perhaps should not be there for the army.

“What all of these partners are interested in is data. The ocean is one of the most challenging environments to work in and the types of data that we’re collecting in these areas is not only very, very large, but we’re talking about very high-resolution data, which was previously unavailable to these types of industries,” mentioned Shea.

With a cruising velocity of 20 knots, the Ocean Seeker will run day journeys from ports in Atlantic Canada, attending to a website shortly, gathering information and returning to shore. (CBC)

Under the Ocean Supercluster, collaborating corporations will fund a portion of the mission and share the info.

In whole, Ottawa has dedicated to match {industry} spending to as much as $153 million.

It has been greater than 5 months since federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains travelled to Kraken’s Mount Pearl, N.L., workplaces to publicly announce Ocean Vision as the primary Ocean Supercluster mission.

Ocean Vision is valued at $20 million.

A remaining contract to unlock spending has but to be signed with the non-profit company set as much as oversee the Ocean Supercluster, however Shea mentioned he hopes the contract will probably be signed within the subsequent few weeks.

Vessel value $524Okay

Nancy Andrews, a spokesperson for the Ocean Supercluster, mentioned the group is being diligent with a program “to drive economic growth in a way that has never been done before.”

“For projects of this magnitude, and complexity, involving new project partners across different sectors, it is not unusual for contracting to take a number of months. It’s important to note that timelines will vary from project to project,” Andrews wrote in an electronic mail.

While points like governance and the way spending will circulation are being negotiated, Kraken has been pulling its a part of the mission collectively and bearing the prices.

In August, it purchased the RCMP patrol vessel Murray for $524,000 at a federal authorities surplus public sale.

The ship spent three weeks in dry dock on the AF Theriault & Son shipyard in Meteghan, N.S., the place it was inbuilt 2003.

Ocean Seeker will run day journeys

Kraken has additionally expanded its Nova Scotia operation in Dartmouth on the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) the place Ocean Seeker is tied up.

The firm has subcontracted with Leeway Marine to function its analysis vessel.

With a cruising velocity of 20 knots, Ocean Seeker will run day journeys from ports in Atlantic Canada, attending to a website shortly, gathering information and returning to shore.

This winter, a ahead bunk space will probably be ripped out to make room for sonar tools and computer systems.

On the bridge, all new electronics will probably be put in.

“If you’re looking for a target, if you’re trying to find an object on the seabed, the captain and the surveyor can both be looking at the same data at the same time and they can see that target come up immediately in real time,” mentioned Shea throughout a tour of the vessel’s wheelhouse.

Growing Canada’s ocean sector

In February 2018, the Ocean Supercluster was one of five proponents selected after a federal authorities competitors for $950 million in innovation funding.

The proposal was led by oil corporations working in offshore Newfoundland.

Privately, native ocean expertise corporations in Nova Scotia have expressed scepticism concerning the paperwork being constructed up across the program and the thriller surrounding the mechanics.

But with contract “teething pains” practically behind the corporate, Shea mentioned Kraken might help different corporations.

“It allows us to communicate our experiences to a lot of the smaller companies who have been waiting to be able to put their projects in through the cluster,” he mentioned.

“We’re looking forward to seeing more collaboration between industries in the ocean sector and really trying to grow Canada’s ocean sector on a global scale.”

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