FUGRO TO PARTNER WITH SHELL OCEAN DISCOVERY XPRIZE

Fugro has announced a partnership with the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE to support its global, three-year competition. The competition incentivises development of rapid, unmanned and high resolution ocean mapping technologies and the partnership supports the first round of testing. Fugro’s role is to provide high resolution deepwater baseline bathymetry data over a 500 km² competition area. The company has recently collected more than 1 million km² of high resolution bathymetry data per year globally, predominantly in water depths greater than 750 metres.
Capitalising on its deepwater survey expertise, Fugro will acquire the seafloor data using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment, including a deepwater autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) equipped with sonar-based survey systems. This information will be used to ground-truth the work of 21 semi-finalist teams advancing to Round 1 of the competition. The challenge for the competing teams is to deploy their inventions to operate at 2,000 metres ocean depth, mapping 20 % of the project site at 5.0 metres resolution, and identifying at least five archaeological, biological or geological features, all within a 16-hour timeframe. In addition to increasing the speeds and methods by which baseline bathymetry could be acquired, the competition offers a special $1M incentive sponsored by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for systems that can also detect and track biological and chemical signals. XPRIZE, a 501 nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. The $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE is one of nine active global competitions. (Source: Fugro)