Cape Breton company to be part of military operation

April 15, 2012 - via Cape Breton Post

Autonomous underwater vehicles, like this one, will be employed by local company Wentworth Environmental as part of Canadian and American military exercise, May 2-9. Wentworth will be part of a mine countermeasure portion of the operation.

SYDNEY — A Cape Breton company will lend its expertise on underwater munitions to a joint Canadian-American military exercise in Sydney harbour next month.  Wentworth Environmental will play a part in Frontier Sentinel 12, May 2-9, specifically the portion of the operation that will clear the harbour of mines.  “They drop what they call training mines and lay a two-kilometre minefield in the harbour,” said Terry Long, president of Wentworth.

“Our role in the exercise will be to deploy our Iver-2 with our Kline 3500 side-scan sonar. And what we’ll do with that is look at surveying the minefield that is laid in Sydney harbour and mapping it.” Long said the Iver-2 autonomous underwater vehicles, recently obtained from OceanServer Technology in Fall River, can climb up and down underwater peaks and valleys, leaving little chance of missing important data.

“The way of the past has basically been using divers and sonar, towing them behind boats,” he said. The underwater vehicles, which resemble a missile, are equipped with the Kline 3500 technology, which Long said gives a greater level of clarity to sonar image technology.

Long has been working with Defence Research and Development Canada in Halifax on the autonomous underwater vehicle and will be on their team during the military exercise. “The technology that I’m bringing in besides side-scan will have the ability to do bathymetry surveys — telling all the different water depths.”

He’ll also employ a high-definition video camera to take images of underwater obstacles and attributes. Another piece of equipment will allow him to look beneath the seabed. Long will have a crew of three for the operation.

To date, the company has been hired for mine-related work in many parts of the world, including the United States and Europe. They also do marine environmental work and provide services to the oil-and-gas sector.

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Author:Greg McNeil

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