New tool for underwater exploration

February 28, 2012 - via

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Scientists and engineers were busy along the shores of Lake Champlain Tuesday afternoon.

They gathered outside the ECHO Center in Burlington to test out a new GPS system designed to explore what goes on below the water's surface.

While similar tracking devices have been used before, they've often failed to pinpoint something beyond a 10- to 12-meter estimate. This technology, created in Vermont, shortens that distance to about half a meter.

"The ability to put a vehicle down miles and miles in the water and know very accurately its location and geo-reference coordinates, like latitude and longitude, is really powerful. It's something that was absolutely not available say a few years ago for practical and commercial application," said Ben Kinnaman of Greensea Systems.

Practical applications for the technology could include helping to track shipwrecks and lost cargo, as well as military ammunition.

The system's creators say the technology could cost as much as a new car.

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Author:Keith McGilvery