• Rakshit Verma

Emerging Ocean Technologies

It’s amusing how the earth is called the blue planet, but what’s “blue” in it, is getting contaminated by bottles of sanitizers, plastic bags, face masks, and much more during the pandemic. What’s more interesting is that substances like these take more than a century to degrade!

Ask yourself, if it will still be called a “blue planet” or will it just be a large pool of industrial waste in a century?

The need to clean up this mess is now more than ever, and companies have started recognizing it. These companies are now contributing to the sustainable development movement with new emerging ocean technologies. The Ocean Cleanup is a developer of a vessel that removes plastic and non-biodegradable waste from oceans. Coral Vita has been developing coral farming models which are geared to be viable means to rebuild degraded coral reefs, considering that half of these are already dead and still under danger.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a private-sector-led partnership that hopes to leverage the latest science and technology in order to address global challenges and ensure better outcomes for our oceans. There are companies like MetOcean Telematics and Advisian that are coming up with oil spill tracking buoys with integrated antennas. Organizations like IIRM in ISRO are using a Geographic information system ( GIS ) to look for underground earthquakes in oceans, which are the main cause of Tsunamis. It uses geospatial data and microwaves to identify changes in geography y satellites placed in the orbit of the Earth. Ocean Exploration is being taken up by a lot of companies, with new technologies like SCUBA droids ( that are humanoid robots replacing human divers ), undersea cloud computing, and coastal sea sensors.

Oceans are rich in minerals and in precious metals like gold, platinum, etc. Deep-sea mining is focused on finding these underwater mines to extract useful resources and precious metals for human use.

Some of the new emerging ocean technologies are:-

1) Aquatic Drones to explore high-pressure depths in oceans

2) GIS and Satellite Imaging over the oceanic bodies

3) High-Frequency Radars

4) Underwater Hydrophones

It’s amusing how we have spent 300,000 years exploring the 30% land and have just started to explore the majority 70% water. It is also interesting to note that even today, 90-95% of all oceanic bodies are yet unexplored.

Ocean technologies are important to clean these vast oceans, while at the same time, explore the vast life and the world beneath!