American exploration vessel Nautilus completed Monday a 15-day expedition on Eratosthenes Seamount, within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and on Tuesday it will sail to Turkey where it will continue its exploration.
The expedition team, under Robert Ballard, Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration, Graduate School of Oceanography URI President Institute for Exploration and President of Ocean Exploration Trust, who has been a pioneer in the development of advanced deep submergence and “telepresence” technology, discovered two wrecks of unknown date and archaeological value so far, as well as a number of amphorae and statues.
Paphos Mayor Savas Vergas visited Monday “Nautilus”, accompanied by other officials of Paphos Municipality. They were offered a guided tour of the ship and were informed on the research conducted and the discoveries.
Vergas handed over gifts to Ballard. The Mayor expressed his satisfaction with the conclusion of the exploration and thanked Ballard for all the efforts made.
On his part, Ballard said that the discoveries in the Cypriot EEZ were very important, noting that he would like to come back and continue the research. He said that they will inform Cyprus Antiquities Departments about their discoveries.
A Geological Officer of Cyprus Geological Survey Department was aboard the vessel during its expedition on Eratosthenes Seamount. Nautilus is equipped with some of the latest technological systems, helping to advance the frontiers of ocean exploration.
Primary capabilities include science class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), high-resolution seafloor mapping, and real-time satellite transmission of data.
Systematic exploration consists of a tiered approach of information gathering in geographic regions about which we know little or nothing, but where there is high potential for discovery.
The first step involves studying large areas of unknown or poorly known ocean regions using sonar mapping systems. Nautilus currently uses side scan sonar systems on two towfish, Diana and Echo, for seafloor mapping, and is slated to install a hull-mounted multibeam sonar in the winter of 2013.
Water column properties may also be surveyed using CTDs and other towed sensor packages to record salinity and temperature at depth.
In the second tier of exploration, resulting data are used to identify areas of further interest to be explored using our ROVs, Hercules and Argus, owned and operated by the Sea Research Foundation’s Institute for Exploration.
The objective is to explore, locate and describe new habitats, geological processes, cultural sites, and unknown phenomena, establishing a rich foundation of information to catalyze further scientific efforts.
As the Corps of Exploration aboard Nautilus conduct operations at sea, satellite technology is used to transmit video, sensor and audio data to shore in real time. These high-definition data streams are transmitted via high bandwidth Internet-2 to the expedition’s “mission control” at the Inner Space Center (ISC), located at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.
The feed is also transmitted to other shore-based Exploration Command Centers (ECCs) developed in strategic locations around the U.S. and in other parts of the world. — (KYPE)
(Source: Ocenology International Team – Ocean Space from FAMAGUSTA GAZETTE – Tue, Aug 28, 2012)