Wednesday, November 28, 2007

II. Sea Trials - Gulf of Mexico, prior to Aruba

With the mobilization complete, the R/V Persistence and crew set out into the Gulf of Mexico to test all of the equipment to be used during the search for Natalee Holloway's remains. After arriving on site, about 12 hours transit south of Louisiana, we took a SVP (sound velocity profile) to measure the acoustic velocity of the local seawater. Accurate measurements of the sound velocity aid in acquiring accurate sonar data. SVP completed, the side scan sonar is gently lowered into the water with the large winch. A couple steady hands guide the towfish away from the ship's hull to avoid a catastrophic collision, damaging the precious transducers. We anxiously gathered around the primary sonar computer as the first data comes in. Hours of acquisition later, the towfish is dialed in and the data looks very good. The side scan sonar has sufficient resolution to do the work.

The above image is a sample side scan sonar image to illustrate the type of imaging and resolution a high quality digital side scan sonar is capable of acquiring. A wreck (~150ft long 3-masted schooner) is laying upright on the seabed. The dark area to the left of the wreck is the acoustic shadow. A crab trap similar in size and character to the one we will be searching for thought to contain the remains is seen near the bow of the wreck, shown by the black arrow.

After the side scan sonar trials, the ROV (remotely operated vehicle) team and acoustic positioning personnel moves in on location. We moved to a site with about 100ft water depth, adequate to test the acoustic positioning equipment with the ROV. We deployed and calibrated a compatt (computing and telemetry transponder) and then deployed the SeaEye Falcon 1266 ROV. Once in the water, the ROV was tested for telemetry and video functionality. The ROV performed flawlessly.

Seaeye Falcon 1266 ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle)



Seaeye ROV in action!

12 comments:

blah said...

You guys are Hero's!!!!

Be safe!

Anonymous said...

Amazing. May God be with you on this search for Natalee. I pray that this search will finally bring her home where she belongs-to her parents, family, friends and America. Thank you for your help in making this happen.

Blue Moon

DennisAOK said...

I salute this extraordinary act of kindness and selflessness. All of America is behind you!

carpe said...

Thanks guys for all you are doing. Justice for our girl Natalee!

debbie said...

with God's help, Natalee will be brought home. Love and prayers go with you! THANK YOU ALL AND BE SAFE! DONT FORGET, JOORANS DAD IS STILL AROUND!

lady said...

I am from the UK and have been following this case from Day 1. I am so pleased you haven't given up and there is now hope that natalie will be found-absolutly selfless-i salute you

Anonymous said...

i want to thank yous for all your doing to bring our girl home thank you from the bottom of my heart god bless ans be safe

Anonymous said...

This blog about the search is very interesting. I hope we hear more about this. Too bad the Aruba Government couldn't help you identify what is in those wrecks. Makes a person very curious. I hope you don't find natalee - I am clinging to the hope she went off to Venezuela or somewhere and will show up some day. To me, if you don't find her, you will have accomplished your goal, also. A little more light on the subject.

loving parents said...

My God Bless you and keep you safe and well during your search for our American Girl! True Hero's never give up! Please becareful, and trust your instincts! Our thoughts and prayers go out to her mother and her father for the saddness of such a beautiful daughter! We hope she will be found and brought back to the US, her home!

loving parents said...

My God Bless you and keep you safe and well during your search for our American Girl! True Hero's never give up! Please becareful, and trust your instincts! Our thoughts and prayers go out to her mother and her father for the saddness of such a beautiful daughter! God Bless to ALL!

garymaran said...

Keep up the fine work and see it through to it's conclusion. Certainly the family deserves closure to horrific crime. And may ther perpatrator or perpatrators be brought to justice.

garymaran

Anonymous said...

god bless the search for everyone looking for natalee,but is there a chance you're looking in the wrong place.could she have been sold as a white slave and then smuggled off the island and back into the u.s.a. without the authorities knowing,or do the authorities do know.what does the investigation report say,about what she was doing from the time she exited from the plane,to her disappearence.did she get involved in narcotics,thus overdid her expense account for the trip,and not,to let her parent's know, agreed to repay in someway or another.not knowing what she was getting herself into.there are so many question's concerning her disappearence,lead's,and answer's not being told.you should be exploring all aspects not just the one of her being around the island.i've been e-mailing messages for a man i know who claim's to have seen her three times in june 2005.when he saw her being killed the three men tried also, to kill him.but he escaped,followed them and saw where she was buried.he has personnal belonging's of her's, including clothing with blood stain's.the man has more information,about what he saw and heard,including two names of the three suspect's.this man who witnessed everything is not crazy,a drunk,or addicted to any narcodic's.i would think that someone would at least come here and listen to this man.the local police,FBI,and americas most wanted, thinks this man is looney and won't do any follow up's.if this man is telling the truth and no one listen's,then this case may never be solved.then who are the crazy one's.

 
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