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Forcys’ technology partners help locate Shackleton’s historic Endurance

Forcys’ technology partners help locate Shackleton’s historic Endurance

In brief

After more than 100 years lost and more than 3,000m underneath sea ice in the Antarctic’s Weddell Sea, the almost fully intact wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance has been found, supported with technology from Forcys’ technology partners. The Endurance22 expedition set out to locate the vessel, organised and funded by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust.

The challenge

The pioneering search saw the Endurance22 team deploy Saab Seaeye Sabertooth hybrid autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) from the icebreaking polar supply and research ship S.A. Agulhas II. The main challenges in the search centred around the extreme depths and under-ice conditions the teams were working in.

The solution

During their hunt of the seabed, close to where the 1914-1917 expedition came to its end, underwater robots used our technology partner’s Sonardyne’s navigation instruments to help localise the robot while it conducted the search at significant depth. The robot combined inertial navigation systems with very accurate short base line positioning from our technology partner Sonardyne.

Once the Endurance22 was found our technology partners’ Voyis optical systems, Insight Pro and Observer stills camera, were deployed by the Saab Sabertooth to visualise the ship and render 3D models. These systems helped bring the Endurance22 back to life.

To cap it all off, the software used to gather, process and display the data is developed by our technology partner EIVA.

Credit Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and Nick Birtwistle

The result

The expedition was able to meet all of its missions goals. Why do we care? This missions shares similar building blocks and CONOPS to many salvage and submarine rescue operations. We are keen to explore with our customers how they can take delivery of the technology to make their rescue operations more effective as well as providing better forensics for their teams to inform future missions.

If this is of interest to you please contact the team at Forcys.

Credit Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic Caption

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