Unmanned AUVs find Air France wreckage

Unmanned AUVs find Air France wreckage

Summary: A team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute has found the remains of France Air flight 447, using a Remus 6000 underwater search vehicle

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

 |  Image 1 of 6

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Air France Remus 6000 underwater search vehicle

    Using a fleet of three autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), a team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has located the wreckage of an Air France plane that crashed two years ago.

    Flight 447, a commercial airliner flying between Rio de Janeiro and Paris, crashed into the ocean on 1 June, 2009, killing all 216 passengers and 12 crew members on board.

    The unmanned Remus 6000 AUVs found the remains 3,900 metres — or nearly 2.5 miles — below the surface of the ocean, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) said in a statement on Monday.

    The search, which targeted an area of about 3,900 square miles off the north-eastern coast of Brazil, was carried out on behalf of the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA), the French Bureau of investigation and analysis for civil aviation safety. It was the fourth search since the plane crashed.

    Photo credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

  • WHOI Remus 6000 equipment

    The team arrived at the crash site on 25 March and searched for one week with a Remus 6000 before discovering debris on the ocean bed. They then called in a second Remus 6000 for more detailed imaging and mapping.

    The remote-controlled AUVs can be equipped with a range of sensors, such as a side scan sonar system and down-facing cameras for scouring the sea floor. An 11KW h rechargeable battery provides the Remus 6000 with 22 hours of usage at speeds of up to four knots.

    The AUVs can explore as deep as 6,000 metres below the surface of the water. In the past, the Remus system has been used to scour the ocean floor for the wreck of the Titanic.

    Photo credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Topic: Emerging Tech

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to start the discussion