Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall 2012 News

All things BHR-related tend to slow down in the winter, as we wait to see if there will be a 2013 expedition with either the French or US Navy (or maybe both). This is a good time to work on things like publications. I have recently co-authored a commentary piece for a marine technology journal about the importance of the US-FR Navy partnership within the context of the BHR search.  I had the great honor of sharing authorship with Admiral John Harvey, USN (Ret.) (Commander, Fleet Forces Command), and Rear-Admiral Bruno Dem√©ocq (Deputy Commander of the Atlantic Surface Fleet, French Navy) who heads the French BHR efforts.  Both gentlemen have been tremendously supportive of the project for years now, and are in large part responsible for its success and sustainability. I will post a link to our publication as soon as it becomes available, hopefully in a couple of weeks.

The Mighty P3
I’m hearing that there is the possibility for another Orion P3 aircraft mission (see earlier post in this blog) to fly over our search area and complete the survey that was started last spring. (The lady pilot who flew the last mission is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate – yeah!)  If they can do this and fill in gaps in the data previously collected, we could create a magnetic anomaly map of the area.  The iron ballast mound of the BHR might give off enough magnetic signature to show up as an anomaly, but we can’t be sure since we’ve never used the P3 for this type of survey before. I wonder if they’ll take me with them?

The Target
At the end of this year’s mission, I posted sonar images of the two best targets we had found.  After the sonar data was processed and mosaicked (put all the snapshots together to see the big picture), there seems to be more to one of the targets than we originally thought.  In this image, it looks like there is a debris field that measures approximately 25 meters in length and 10-15 meters across.

We are working toward a new collaboration with a private organization which might be able to investigate this target on a special mission a few months from now.