Huge congratulations are due to WHOI, the NTSB and the US Coast Guard for successfully locating the voyage data recorder (VDC) of the sunken cargo ship El Faro. SS El Faro was declared missing October 2, 2015, a day after ship encountered Hurricane Joaquin (cat 3) and communications ceased. Locating the VDC, an object the size of a basketball, three miles underwater and 41 miles from land, is a tremendous feat and will hopefully help researchers learn more about the shipwreck. (http://bit.ly/1VXICdP)
Owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by WHOI, the research vessel Atlantis was deployed for the search operation. There was tremendous team effort to support the realtime video streaming of the operations was a team effort with teammates from the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center, Comm Systems, Verizon Satellite Solutions Group , and IGPP/SIO’s HiSeasNet (HSN: https://hiseasnet.ucsd.edu).
HSN is a provider of satellite based Internet access to the Atlantis. In this instance, HSN provided the Atlantis with its ship to shore equipment while Verizon Satellite Solutions Group (via NTSB) provided the shore to ship equipment and the space segment. Satellite bandwidth was contributed by the Ocean Exploration Trust, operator of the EV Nautilus. For the search effort, HSN upgraded the Atlantis satellite equipment to enabled live HD video feeds from seafloor to NTSB headquarters. The upgrade will also make future bandwidth expansions possible to support future telepresence needs of scientific teams on the Atlantis.