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Amy Kukulya launches REMUS to track simiulated oil spill

Easy Launch, Fast Response

WHOI engineer Amy Kukulya (left) and first mate Drew Friel launch a REMUS autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) from the R/V Discovery into a patch of fluorescein dye in Buzzards Bay, Mass. during a simulated oil spill. The mission was to test the vehicle's ability to map the extent of the dye (or "oil") and track it back to the source. The test also served as training for members of the U.S. Coast Guard. Data from the vehicle is transmitted back to the ship or a command control center, which can enable first responders to make quick decisions on how to mitigate a spill. A new long-range vehicle being developed would operate for weeks at a time with little or no intervention. The new technology would give decision-makers access to real-time data from almost any spill site, including those in remote, under-ice locations.

(Photo by Erin Koenig, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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