During our 4-day transit to the search site, the CAT 2 operations team used the time to refine the search area provided by our aviation investigators into a workable survey grid. In order to cover the 2500-square-mile area as efficiently as possible, we had to determine the best strategy for laying out Deep Ocean Transponders and leapfrogging the AUVs through the search area. The team had to take into account the time needed for launching and recovering AUVs, setting transponders, and efficiently running the ship back and forth between these operations. In the end, with all of these factors carefully weighed, the search area was broken down into 88 mission boxes, each covering roughly 24 square miles and representing a single 23-hour AUV sortie. After over a year of preparation and research, we had our final search grid laid out and were steaming full speed ahead towards our first AUV launch at the site.
More about CATALYST 2: searchforamelia.org
More about the Waitt Institute: wid.waittinstitute.org
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