A major draw will be the latest in autonomous vehicles, with a number of ROVs, USVs and AUVs in action, from Singapore, the US, Norway, Spain, Ireland and the UK.
Highlights include first time OB exhibitor Aquatic Drones, demonstrating how cost efficient its zero emission Autonomous Surface Vessel (ASV) is for surveys focusing on inland waterways, hydro dams, ports, coastlines, and offshore movie review wind projects.
Advances in AUV technology will be the focus of Singapore’s BeeX, with a vehicle that can autonomously inspect platform structures using a positioning system from UK company Sonardyne.
There are three types of mineral deposits on the seabed; manganese nodules, manganese crusts and sulphides. All three types contain multiple metals, and they are located at significant sea depths, mainly between 1500 and 6000 meters. On the Norwegian shelf, manganese crusts and sulphides have been found at depths around 3000 meters.
The NPD’s resource assessment for seabed minerals provides estimates of the resources in place; in other words, resources that have been proven, or that are expected to be present.
To confirm whether the mineral resources are recoverable, and can be recovered with acceptable environmental impact, this will require further investigation of the seabed and technological development surrounding recovering methods.
Several international organizations, such as the IEA and IRENA, are pointing to the significant and growing need for metals. As recently as in in 2020, the European Commission prepared an overview of critical input goods for the Union.
“Of the metals found on the seabed in the study area, magnesium, niobium, cobalt and rare earth minerals are found on the European Commission’s list of critical minerals. Costly, rare minerals such as neodymium and dysprosium are extremely important for magnets in wind turbines and the engines in electric vehicles”, says Dahle.