US ship Okeanos Explorer to Explore Ocean Floor

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US ship Okeanos Explorer to Explore Ocean Floor

Recently, the US has designed an exploration ship Okeanos Explorer to explore the ocean floor.

The Oakenos Explorer ship has been built by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is scheduled to depart from Port Canaveral, Florida on May 14 2021.

Okeanos Explorer

  • The Okeanos Explorer will create 3D maps based on vast areas of the sea level of the ‘Hadal Zone’ during its ocean exploration.
  • This expedition by the American explorer ship Okeanos Explorer, will last for two weeks.
  • A technology demonstration of an autonomous under water vehicle called Orpheus will also be done through this ship.
  • Orpheus robot is a new form of submersible robot. This will help in identifying the scientific features of the ocean floor.

Orpheus

  • Often, deep-sea exploration requires high-powered equipment such as sonar. Unlike such devices, Orpheus uses state-of-the-art software as well as cameras and lighting. It weighs around 250 kg, which is lighter than deep-sea submarines.
  • This is going to work very fast. It moves smoothly in a rugged surface area. This type of environment is generally inaccessible to most vehicles operating in the deep sea.
  • The Orpheus was designed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
  • It is to be noted that NASA’s JPL has also designed the ‘Perseverance Rover’ and ‘Ingenuity Helicopter’ of ‘Mars Mission 2020’. WHOI is operating the HADEX program. HADEX stands for Hadal Exploration Program.

Hadal Zone

  • The Hadal Zones are the deepest zones in the ocean between oceanic trenches, with depths typically ranging from 6,000 m to 11,000 m.
  • It is to be noted that a ‘Five Deeps Expedition’ was recently launched to explore the deepest five places of the oceans.

Source – The Hindu

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