Take the 2-minute tour ×
Aviation Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for aircraft pilots, mechanics, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

As my question states, why is only a single Bluefin-21 being deployed underwater to scan the seabed with an area of around 40 square miles?

Why aren't multiple Bluefin-21's getting deployed when deploying multiple machines would make the search faster when everything here is a very time consuming process?

share|improve this question
    
cost and availability, it is very expensive to deploy the thing –  ratchet freak Apr 17 at 13:44
1  
@ratchetfreak I would say only availability. If you deploy 1 for 10 days or 10 for 1 day, the cost remains unchanged –  Federico Apr 17 at 14:06
    
If you deploy 1 for 10 days or 10 for 1 day, the cost remains unchanged very nice point. –  SRy Apr 17 at 14:32
6  
@Federico that assumes no other fixed costs, getting the ship supporting ship out there takes fuel and when it is there it can remain there for a few weeks and deploy several days in a row –  ratchet freak Apr 17 at 14:36
3  
Would you rather fly 10 AUVs to Australia, then fly them back the next day, or just fly 1 down there and let it stay a while? Shipping isn't cheap. –  fooot Apr 17 at 20:56

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Bluefin-21

Why not multiple Bluefin-21's

There is only one Bluefin-21.

The other Bluefins 12S, 12D, 9M etc are mostly for shallow water work.

Other AUVs

The Bluefin-21 is not the only commercial Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) equipped with side-scan sonar.

The US Navy has spent $20M on an order for eight Knifefish (a Bluefin-21 derivative) but these are not due to enter active service until 2017. They are for mine-detection and so (I surmise) may not be well suited to deep-ocean usage.

The Royal Navy has a number of REMUS 600 AUVs but these are not designed for use deeper than 600M

It may be that most existing AUVs equipped with side-scan-sonar are not capable of deep-ocean use.

share|improve this answer
    
Judging from the fact that they are replacing dolphins and operating from Littoral Combat Ships, I would say they are not designed for deep-water use. –  fooot Apr 17 at 14:49

Most of capable AUVs belong to offshore drilling companies like Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell. Some are also operated by deep sea cable companies.

The various armed forces operate only a handful of these AUVs, and because they are quite expensive, not many marine science institutes have them.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.