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Contact

Sonar data…

Contact 30 was detected by Ginger on Mission 018B on 10-Mar-09 in box 10B with sonar settings 75kHz at 600 meters. After detailed analysis Contact 30 was designated Target 2.

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Contact 30/Target 2: 600m range - 75kHz frequency (highlighted)

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Contact 30/Target 2: 600m range - 75kHz frequency (magnified)

CONTACT REPORT

Contact Designation: #30

Assessment Criteria

1

2

3

4

5

Reflectivity: returned signal strength, relative and perceived

X

Overall dimensions: size

X

Overall geometry: shape

X

Associated bottom: debris field

X

Associated bottom: surrounding geology

X

Man-made versus natural: straight lines, perfect circles

X

Contact Location: Box 10B

Overall Rating: 4.2 / 5

Comments:
Overall size of the main target is consistent at around 20m by 18m for the plane. Shape is very similar. Some debris around target, but also looks as if some geology may be beginning towards the gap directly under the AUV.

Normally this image would be covered on an adjacent line which would give us another look; however the port transducer was not working. So we will be re-running box 10B anyway after MSN019B is recovered to cover starboard side of lines. Since we are going within 100m of the target a re-image run will give us a definitive answer on this target and will add less than 30 minutes to the overall survey time.

See Re-Imaging…

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Deep Sea Snapshots

AUV Photographs…

Photos captured by our AUV cameras reveal breathtaking clarity in shots taken 4,570 to 5,389 meters below the ocean’s surface… Read the rest of this entry »

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Sonar Mosaic

Graphic results from the mission…


Mosaic

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Sonar Mosaic from 2009 (lower section) and 2006 (upper section) (Click image to zoom)

Mosaic

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Sonar Mosaic 2006 (top section) 2009 (lower section) with targets (Click image to zoom)

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Contact

Sonar data…

Mary Ann captured this contact during mission 001A in the northwest quadrant of box 1A on 15-Feb-09. It was initially designated Contact 2. After further analysis, it was upgraded to Target 1.

Target2_600m_75khzbox.jpg

Contact 2: 600m range - 75kHz frequency (highlighted)

Target2_600m_75khz-2-2.jpg

Contact 2: 600m range - 75kHz frequency (magnified)

Contact Report

Assessment Criteria

1

2

3

4

5

Reflectivity: returned signal strength, relative and perceived

X

Overall dimensions: size

X

Overall geometry: shape

X

Associated bottom: debris field

X

Associated bottom: surrounding geology

X

Man-made versus natural: straight lines, perfect circles

X

Contact Location: Box 1A

Overall Rating: 3.2 / 5

Comments:
Overall size of area is consistent at around 20m x 20m for the plane if broken apart into pieces. Straight lines are not in line with the associated geology, making it look more man-made. While there are areas of reflectivity there is not an overall high level of intensity or reflectivity expected for the contact.

In addition, this target was very close to the next mission line in box 2A so we decided it was a perfect contact to re-image and test out the re-imaging methods and AUV program for such. This will ensure for proper overlap, navigation accuracy and camera operation.

Go to Re-Imaging…

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Re-Imaging

Re-Imaging Results…

Sonar
There is no high resolution sonar image for this contact because of a problem in the system start-up process that turned off the recording function.

Photography
The target turned out to be a series of flat volcanic shale-like rocks with some exposed sharp and straight edges. These gave the appearance of straight hard returns on the sonar record. They are located just off and adjacent to a long ridge line that was seen on the 600m range scale record. This type of rock will most likely be common in this area and we can expect to see more of this type of target. While we cannot discount everything that looks like this on the sonar record it does give us some experience with how the sonar will image these types of formations.

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Target 1 - Rock formation 5,389 meters deep

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Target 1 - Rock formation 5,389 deep

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Re-Imaging

Re-Imaging Results…

Sonar

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Target 2: 100m range - 410kHz frequency

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Target 2: 100m range - 410kHz (magnified)

Photography

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Target 2 - Rock formation 4,570 meters deep

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Target 2 - Rock formation 4,570 meters deep

Comments:
The target proved to be a fairly large collection of rocks on the seafloor. As suspected, the rock field did continue under the AUV into the “gap” of the sonar record. The rocks proved very interesting because of how straight some of the edges were and the very “wing-like” shapes. Also, the appearance of a closely broken up object made this an intriguing sonar image. Given the minimal time it took to re-image this target on the following mission and our ability to completely discount this as the plane we feel this was a worthwhile effort.

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Contact

Sonar data…

Mary Ann detected these two discrete contacts during Mission 020A in box 20A with her sonars set on 120kHz with a 600 meter range. Both contacts presented as vertical lines in the right channel on the original survey.  After the initial analysis they were designated Target 3 because of their proximity.

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Contact 42: 600m range - 120kHz frequency

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Contact 42: 600m range - 120kHz frequency (magnified)

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Contact 43: 600m range - 120kHz frequency

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Contact 43: 600m range - 120kHz frequency (Magnified)

CONTACT REPORT

Contact Designation: #43

Assessment Criteria

1

2

3

4

5

Reflectivity: returned signal strength, relative and perceived

X

Overall dimensions: size

X

Overall geometry: shape

X

Associated bottom: debris field

X

Associated bottom: surrounding geology

X

Man-made versus natural: straight lines, perfect circles

X

Contact Location: Box 20A

Overall Rating: 3.8 / 5

Comments:
There are two targets that are approximately 2.5km apart. Both have a high reflectivity and have no associated geology. Size of target #42 is overall 10m in length and only 2m wide, however a small shadow is associated with it. Target #43 is 8m by 5m with a small additional target in its vicinity. Both of these targets are in a very benign bottom area and stand out as non-natural and do not fit in with their surroundings. This is their strongest characteristic. While target #42 does not match general shape expectations and/or overall dimensions its proximity to #42 make it efficient to re-image. Target #43 has similarities to the replica target that was imaged during the sea-trial. The overall ranking is for target #43.

See Re-Imaging…

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Re-Imaging

Re-Imaging Results…

Sonar

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Target 3 (Contact 42): 75m range - 410kHz frequency

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Target 3 (Contact 42): 75m range - 410kHz frequency (magnified)

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Target 3 (Contact 43): 75m range - 410kHz frequency

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Contact 43/Target 3: 75m range - 410kHz frequency (magnified)

Photography

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Target 3 (Contact 42) Chain or Metal Pipe 5,283 meters deep

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Target 3 (Contact 42) Chain or Metal Pipe 5,283 meters deep

Comments:

Both targets were re-imaged on sonar and a photo image was captured of contact #42, unfortunately contact #43 was in a gap in the photos shot and could not be positively identified through that media. With the imagery collected with the high frequency sonar #43 appears to be a pipe sticking out of the seafloor. Both of these targets are most likely from a passing ship throwing unwanted scrap over the side. Target #42 appears to be some sort of metal chain or linkage. It is consistent with the sonar record. The sonar imagery for #42 was recorded while the vehicle was turning. This made the image appear curvy and longer than it actually was.

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Contact

Sonar data…

Contact 49 was acquired by Ginger during Mission 052B on 30-Apr-09 and upgraded to Target 4 after analysis.

Target49_600m_75khzbox.jpg

Contact 49 / Target 4: 600m range - 75kHz

Target49_600m_75khz-mag.jpg

Contact 49 / Target 4: 600m range - 75kHz frequency (magnified)

CONTACT REPORT

Contact Designation: #49

Assessment Criteria

1

2

3

4

5

Reflectivity: returned signal strength, relative and perceived

X

Overall dimensions: size

X

Overall geometry: shape

X

Associated bottom: debris field

X

Associated bottom: surrounding geology

X

Man-made versus natural: straight lines, perfect circles

X

Contact Location: Box 5C

Overall Rating: 3.5 / 5

Comments:
This target has relatively high reflectivity and no associated geology surrounding it. It is sitting in a benign area and stands out as not natural, which is its strongest characteristic. The size of the image measures approximately 8 meters long and 2 meters wide. While it does not match the general shape expectations or overall dimensions it does appear man-made and could be part of the aircraft. The location is close to the next sortie making it a short deviation to re-image.

See Re-Imaging…

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Re-Imaging

Re-Imaging Results…

Sonar

Target49_75m_410khzbox.jpg

Contact 49 / Target 4: 75m range - 410kHz frequency

Target49_75m_410khz-closemag.jpg

Contact 49 / Target 4: 75m range - 410kHz frequency (magnified)

Photography

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Target 4 - Metal drum 5,290 meters deep

Comments:
The photography shows this target was a drum measuring 0.6 meters wide by 1 meter tall. The original sonar image being stretched in the length track (causing the 8 meter measurement) can be attributed to two things. First, the AUVs have a continuous heading wobble of plus/minus .75 degrees and, second, the acoustic beam spreading through the water. These distortions increase with distance from the AUVs and this target was originally imaged 500 meters from the vehicle. We are working on the heading oscillation which was originally plus/minus 3 degrees but the acoustic beam spreading is unavoidable.

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