Underwater tech needs to be tapped, say experts

Consolidated efforts on the part of policy-makers, entrepreneurs and researchers are required to tap the latest technology in deep sea exploration, water sports and unmanned underwater platforms.

This was what emerged from the seminar on underwater technology in the city Wednesday. The seminar organised by the Indian Maritime Foundation in collaboration with the Marhatta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture saw participation from experts in underwater technology, marine energy, water sports and even oil and gas exploration.

Ian Gallett, a retired Royal Navy officer and former chief executive, Society for Underwater Technology, while presenting an overview of new developments in marine renewables in the UK explained the latest techniques to generate power using wind and tidal energy.

While describing the initiatives taken in the UK, Gallett said the Indian monsoon is a limiting factor for the conversion of marine energy into a continuous source of power generation.

Gallett touched upon the technological advancements in the domain while delivering a lecture on the increasing use of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) namely the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).

He said that besides data gathering, inspecting the AUVs and ROVs find great application in military technology such as artificial intelligence gathering, mine detection and elimination besides others. "In India, the UUVs are used by research institutes. Some of them have developed their own, but it remains a huge investment."

N Ramalingam, technical director, International Grout Operations Private Limited, emphasised on the domestic developments in the domain. He spelt the need to catch the global bus for the developments in deep- water technology.

Absolute Scuba, a city-based training club explained the initiatives taken by the club towards safe practices in scuba diving and their activities towards conservation of marine life.

Commodore Vijay Sarwate, convenor of the seminar, stressed the need for the Indian industry to capitalise on the growing opportunities in underwater technology. Commodore Rajan Vir, founder- president, IMF was also present.

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