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rv crawford with wing

A Wing and a Sonar

In 1960, WHOI researchers on the research vessel Crawford devised a novel way of measuring seafloor slope. They took sonar depth measurements from two fixed points about 50 feet apart: one from the ship and one from a P5 Marlin (P5M) seaplane wing (above) attached to the side of the ship. "Tests were carried out in the harbor on the Asterias, in Vineyard Sound on the Crawford, and on the high seas on a destroyer," WHOI scientists wrote in the Institution's 1960 annual report. Although it performed well in initial tests, the technique did not come into general use. (Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)


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