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Sea Robot and Drone Survey Nassau Sound

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On Jun 19th, scientists and technology companies partnered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to passively survey the Nassau Sound Aquatic Preservation Area, situated at the oceanic coastal border between Florida and Georgia. Roveal Underwater Robotics, in collaboration with Aviation Systems Engineering Company (ASEC), teamed to achieve history by deploying an undersea robot while simultaneously flying a drone in mutually supporting roles, the first time ever in Florida in support of the scientific community.  This approach successfully proved to be a new scientific method for safe, effective, and innovative observational exploration by capturing undersea and aerial HD video to be distributed and shared with scientists and governmental agencies.

Roveal technicians navigated their tethered, remotely operated underwater vehicle, or ROV, equipped with a HD camera to provide undersea streaming video to a monitor located onboard its floating research vessel. The research team coordinated via radio with the nearby ASEC crew, who piloted their FAA-approved drone to scout and survey areas from above, also streaming HD video.  Research team member Bill Andersen, a native Floridian biologist with over 50 years of diving experience in Florida waters, remarked, “This project demonstrated a new tool for scientists to search for the invasive Lion Fish and the rare Atlantic Sturgeon in ways never before considered. I’m extremely excited by the possibilities for how this technology can benefit our aquatic and marine ecosystems.”

Also participating in the project was Andrea Noel Small, the FDEP Manager for Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserve. Having FDEP support was particularly important to ensure the project aligned with their stated mission to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s natural resources. Since this was the first time a robot was used by FDEP, and the first time an ROV and drone were used in tandem, not only was it critical to build a professional and safe team, but one that complied with local, state and federal laws. Some of the data points collected included information on native grass beds, oyster beds, vertebrate marine life, water column temperature readings, presence of halocline, and channel depth soundings. The project achieved success in all these areas while developing baseline data for future, comparative analysis for Andrea and her scientists.

Perhaps the highlight of the day for the research team was the opportunity to meet with the young men from Jacksonville-based Safe Harbor Maritime Academy who visited the research project’s day long effort. Roveal Robotics CEO Justin Dee provided an educational, hands-on ROV piloting experience for the young men and discussed career opportunities. Similarly, ASEC’s Brent Klavon explained drone technology and its impact on the aviation industry. The innovative research project, along with the visit from Safe Harbor, provided an example for how government, academia, and industry can collaborate to insure future Floridians will have healthy aquatic and marine ecosystems.

About Roveal: Roveal Underwater Robotics is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in the sale and services of Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles (ROVs) and is headquartered in Gainesville, Florida.  Roveal’s operations department, with more than 20 years of unmanned system experience, includes numerous unmanned systems in order to service a vast array of markets.  In addition to providing ROV services and sales, Roveal is an industry leader in robotic component integration, system design and operational consulting.  For more information visit www.rovealit.com or call +1 (727) 992-3596.

About ASEC: Aviation Systems Engineering Company (ASEC), Inc. was granted an exemption to operate small unmanned aircraft systems, or more commonly known as drones, for commercial applications by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ASEC’s flight department, with more than 11 years of professional aviation experience and credentials, includes a commercial unit to service drone operations and related activities. ASEC’s Flight Department is certified Safety Management System (SMS) Stage 2 compliant by the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO). For more information visit www.asec.aero or call +1 (904) 772-8442.

Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Take an immersive dive below the waves off the Welsh coast using 360 VR: Common Spider Crab (Watch Video)

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A week-long series from Jake Davies…

Below the waves off the Welsh coast, there are a range of species and habitats that can be seen. However, you don’t have to venture too far from the shore to see them or don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Using 360 videos provides an immersive feeling of being below the water and encountering many species and habitats from diving one of the most important habitats and species that aren’t often seen whilst diving. For more of an experience of being below the waves, the VR videos can be viewed using a VR headset.

Take a VR dive just off the shore and explore what can be found within the shallow waters of a sandy beach. Fish can be founding cruising amongst the seaweed and numerous crustacean (Crabs, lobster, prawns, shrimps) species can be found walking around the seafloor. Common Spider Crabs (Maja brachydactyla) are one of the largest crabs species found along the coast and during the early summer, they aggregate in large numbers to moult which allows them to grow.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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Dive Training Blogs

Join Me On My Commute To Scuba Diving Key Largo! (Watch Video)

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Sunrise was so beautiful the other morning, I wanted to take a time lapse of my drive from home in South Miami to Key Largo before morning dives with Horizon Divers.

I thought you might enjoy taking the ride with me! Silly I know! But here’s 2 minutes of chill!

D.S.D.O,

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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