Underwater exploration, commercial vessels "going green," sophisticated tracking devices for marine life. The technology is constantly evolving and improving. Here are stories on the latest advances in the maritime.
Please e-mail any stories I may have missed.


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SPOTLIGHT:

UCSD Scientists will develop mini-robots to explore ocean (KPBS.org, Nov. 10, 2009)
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography has been awarded nearly $1 million to develop new tools for ocean exploration. Scientists will use the money to develop miniature robots that will explore ocean ecosystems in small scale.

News on Technology and a Greener Maritime: Week of Nov. 1, 2009

Ocean Power wins grant for Australian wave project (Reuters, Nov. 6, 2009)
Renewable energy firm Ocean Power Technologies has won a A$66.5 million ($61 million) grant from the Australian government for a project set to be one of the first to generate power from waves on a utility scale.


Robot fish to swim in schools and test water quality (Mother Nature Network, Nov. 2, 2009)
Engineers at Michigan State University are currently developing robotic fish which can be coordinated to swim in schools, maneuver in moving water, and keep an eye on water pollution in our oceans, lakes and rivers. The research is yet another instance of nature inspiring technology which is more adequately suited to navigate real situations.


Probe to track warming's effects on water (Discovery News, Nov. 2, 2009)
Hoping to untangle a key mechanism by which Earth warms and cools, a new satellite will for the first time make ongoing measurements of the saltiness of Earth's seas and the water content of the land.


Ocean Power Technologies completes successful trials of underwater substation pod (Reuters, Nov. 2, 2009)
Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. announces the successful completion of trials of its Underwater Substation Pod ("USP") product in Spain. The USP, based on the Company's proprietary design, has been developed to facilitate the collection, networking and transforming of power and data generated by up to ten of its PowerBuoys for transmission to a shore-based electricity grid by one subsea power cable. It has been built as an open platform, and can therefore provide "plug and play" connectivity for any offshore energy device linked to it.


Week of Oct. 25, 2009

4 offshore areas proposed for wind tests (Portland Press Herald, Oct. 27, 2009)
The Maine Department of Conservation has chosen four areas along the Maine coast that could serve as demonstration sites for testing new offshore wind energy technologies.

Cleaning up polluted harbors with greener ships (TIME, Oct. 27, 2009)
The image of the old wooden junk with orange sails is ubiquitous in Hong Kong lore. It's on matchbooks, advertisements and postcards in this famous port city, but the traditional wind-powered Chinese boat cruising Victoria Harbor is a rare site these days. The reality is a bit less picturesque: The second busiest port in the world is filled with diesel-powered ships, ferries and fishing boats, belching toxins into the infamously polluted Hong Kong skyline.



Week of Oct. 18, 2009

Waves start to make ripples in renewable energy world (NYT, Oct. 20, 2009)
[T]he next three years are expected to be critical in determining whether such power is cost effective, with about 30 wave energy projects expected to start operations, according to Emerging Energy Research, an alternative energy advisory firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Massive ocean observatory finished off Vancouver Island (Journal of Commerce, Oct. 21, 2009)
A team of scientists and marine engineers have completed the construction and installation of the world’s largest and most advanced cabled ocean observatory off the west coast of Vancouver Island.


Week of Oct. 11, 2009

Navy secretary seeks greener fleet (Virginian-Pilot, Oct. 16, 2009)
The secretary of the Navy on Wednesday outlined five energy goals for the Navy and Marines in the next decade. Four involve reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, increasing use of alternative energies and factoring energy costs into the price tag of every new ship, engine or building.

Week of Oct. 4, 2009

Indian Ocean countries to stage tsunami exercise (AFP, Oct. 8, 2009)
Eighteen states around the Indian Ocean rim will next week stage the first region-wide test of a tsunami warning system aimed at saving thousands of lives, UNESCO said.


Researchers use high-tech tools to map ocean floor off the Seacoast (Fosters Daily Democrat, Oct 6, 2009)
The scientists charting the world's seafloors have come a long way from the days when sailors would head out on ships and tie a lead sinker to a line to measure ocean depths.