MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SRI International has successfully demonstrated unprecedented capabilities for conducting underwater chemical surveys with its in situ membrane introduction mass spectrometry (MIMS) device integrated into a Bluefin-12 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) developed and manufactured by Bluefin Robotics.
Avanced underwater surveys are in demand by researchers and companies involved in monitoring and protecting ocean resources and oil and gas infrastructure, conducting oil and gas exploration, and analyzing the impact of operations on marine environments. The sensitivity, specificity, and versatility of mass spectrometry enable in-water identification and analysis of a wide range of chemicals. Most underwater analytical equipment is tethered to a surface vessel, restricting the ability for continuous monitoring and testing, while at the same time increasing the costs, complexities and risks associated with advanced hydrocarbon monitoring.
"The ability to combine highly sensitive and calibrated mass spectrometry with AUVs gives researchers and industry a new tool for critical underwater survey applications," said Timothy Short, manager of the Marine and Space Sensing Group in the Space and Marine Technology Program at SRI International. "Much as we are seeing an increase in valuable data collection applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), we can now collect and analyze underwater data more efficiently and accurately. The integrated SRI-Bluefin solution is unprecedented for its ease of deployment, advanced survey capabilities, and reduced cost of operations."
The unique capabilities of the SRI MIMS device integrated into the Bluefin-12 AUV platform addresses complex survey and data collection challenges associated with ocean monitoring and exploration, including an enhanced ability to differentiate hydrocarbon sources (e.g., biogenic versus thermogenic) and high-fidelity baseline measurements to understand with greater accuracy the impact of drilling in specific areas.
"We are pleased SRI has chosen a Bluefin system for their initial MIMS integration – an effort providing a perfect example of the AUV technology's flexibility for rapid sensor demonstration," said Omer Poroy, vice president of Business Development at Bluefin Robotics. "Our client base is eager to apply Bluefin AUVs to their hydrocarbon monitoring needs, and we look forward to working with SRI to optimize the equipment for use in the commercial market space."
The integrated system offers several key benefits relative to other solutions on the market:
For additional information: http://www.sri.com/about/organization/engineering/marine-technology
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