Hydroid Inc., a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime and the leading manufacturer of marine robotics, announced today that their REMUS 6000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) was used to gather sonar data by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's team in the historic discovery of the USS Indianapolis wreckage on August 19th. The ship was found 5,500 meters below the surface in the Philippine Sea seventy-two years after it went missing.
The Indianapolis was a U.S. Navy heavy cruiser that was torpedoed by the Japanese Navy during World War II. The highly decorated ship had just delivered components for one of two nuclear weapons that were dropped on Japan. The ship sank in 12 minutes and is considered the greatest single loss of life at sea, from a single ship, in U.S. Navy history.
"We are honored to have had our REMUS 6000 be part of such a monumental discovery," said Duane Fotheringham, president of Hydroid. "Paul Allen and his team have given the gift of solace to the survivors and the families of the brave men that lost their lives protecting our country. We are proud to have had our vehicle help solve this decades-long search."
The REMUS 6000 AUV is Hydroid's deep-water workhorse and has been designed to enable operations to water depths as great as 6000 meters. It can be configured to include a wide variety of payloads to meet specific mission requirements. With the ability to navigate up to 22 hours per mission, the REMUS 6000 provides wide area coverage and can be used for commercial, marine research and defense applications. The REMUS 6000 was used in the discovery of Air France Flight 447, a passenger flight that crashed in June 2009, and was also used in July 2010 to explore the site of the Titanic sinking. Both search efforts were led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).