The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project and Seatrec have launched Project NEMO (Novel Echosounder to Map the Ocean) as part of a newly signed Memorandum of Understanding. The project will aid ocean mapping in some of the world’s most remote and inaccessible areas.

Seatrec has brought together an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers to develop an autonomous profiling float with an echosounder to map the seafloor. The novel thermally recharging echosounder float (called NEMO) is the integration of three technology breakthroughs over recent years: autonomous profiling floats as demonstrated by the Argo program; the innovative echosounder designed by Airmar Technologies in collaboration with Innomar Technologies; and the transformative ocean thermal energy harvesting technology developed by Seatrec.

Project NEMO will start with a pilot demonstration deploying a cluster of NEMO floats to cover an area centered around Point Nemo – the most remote location on planet earth. Upon a successful pilot demonstration, the NEMO float clusters can be deployed at selected locations to map the gaps in seafloor bathymetry.

Seatrec designs and manufactures energy harvesting solutions that generate electricity from naturally occurring temperature differences in ocean waters. The US-based startup’s patented energy harvesting technology provides a sustainable way of generating renewable energy which can be used to power deep water oceanographic research equipment, including autonomous underwater vehicles.