OTN has developed a global infrastructure to collect comprehensive data on sea animals in relation to the ocean’s changing physical properties. Despite its sophisticated technology, the tracking is conceptually quite simple: scientists tag a wide range of aquatic species — salmon, tuna, whales, sharks, penguins, crabs, and seals, to name a few — with small electronic transmitters (primarily acoustic tags, but also satellite and data archival tags). Acoustic receivers pick up coded signals from acoustic tags, which identify individual tagged creatures that pass within the receiver’s range (typically about half a kilometre). By contrast, externally attached satellite and archival tags typically release at a preprogrammed interval and transmit their data via satellite communication. Tags and receivers can also be outfitted with sophisticated sensors that measure temperature, depth, salinity, currents, chemistry, and other properties.
OTN expect their Falcon to be very busy. There will be many missions beyond tending equipment. For example, the Falcon’s camera systems will provide underwater film footage that will play an important role in engaging the public and communicating OTN’s research activities and results.
The Falcon is the most successful underwater electric robotic system of its class in the world and has been proven over many years in numerous intricate and demanding missions whilst working in some of the most hostile environments on the planet.
Its winning concept comes from having five powerful thrusters and an intelligent distributed control system arranged in a small, easily manhandled metre-long versatile chassis.
Depth rated to 300 and 1000 metres, its power and control make it highly manoeuverable and able to remain stable in strong crosscurrents whilst undertaking precision tasks.
Its advanced iCON intelligent control offers precise station-keeping to allow the operator to concentrate on the task at hand, and its system architecture makes for easy role change and ready customisation.