Several projects now underway are using submersible drones to explore the ocean floor, thanks to increasingly sophisticated scanning technology.
The Ocean Infinity seabed-exploration company has deployed underwater drones to find sunken ships, while two nonprofits hope to map the whole ocean floor by 2030; the Norwegian company Kongsberg Maritime produced the underwater drones for both projects.
Kongsberg's Bjorn Jalving said the company's flagship Hugin drone’s onboard sensors cover five times the area of drones from 10 years ago, with detail expanded 10-fold. The drones also can transfer, process, and exchange data with remote command centers.
The Seabed 2030 ocean-mapping project has enlarged the total surveyed seafloor area from 6% to 15% since 2017, and the University of New Hampshire's Larry Mayer said the drone-scanning effort should help gain new insights into climate change.
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