Technology can change how human beings interact with each other and how businesses improve upon inefficiencies. Additionally, it can lead to astonishing discoveries about the world around us. NASA has been developing technology that can navigate the ocean depths like no other device before.
The Orpheus is described as a “mini-submarine,” and it uses cameras and terrain relative navigation (TRN) technology to take high-resolution images of the ocean floor. The Orpheus cost about $2 million to develop.
What Is Orpheus?
The Orpheus is a submersible drone that was created to explore the true depths of the ocean. The drone was named after the god Orpheus, who famously traveled to the depths of Hell in Greek mythology. NASA helped build and design the Orpheus drone, with the ultimate goal of creating a drone that is so light that it could eventually explore oceans on other planets.
The drone is often compared to a backyard grill in terms of size, and NASA has conducted many tests to ensure that the drone can complete its future missions. Orpheus was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
How Does It Use Vision Technology?
Orpheus uses vision-based navigation to map out the ocean floor. In the past, agencies developed devices that were able to map out the ocean floor using sonar technology. The Orpheus operates thanks to xVIO, or visual-inertial odometry. The Orpheus is so light that it can reach the hadal zone, regions of the ocean deeper than 20,000 feet.
The submersible drone uses both advanced cameras and pattern-matching to determine the ocean floor features, including rocks and coral. The maps that are created are then stored to memory, and the maps can also be shared with other devices.
Possibilities For The Future
The submersible drone has the technology to map out the ocean floor, but the goal is for the Orpheus to explore Europa, a Jupiter moon that is thought to be one of the most likely places for alien life to exist right now.
Since Orpheus is autonomous and easy to operate, it’s easy to see how scientists are excited about the possibilities of the future of Orpheus. In fact, it may even one day help prove the existence of aliens. Either way, the Orpheus can help collect further data about the organisms that exist in the hadal zone and the topography of the ocean’s floor.
NASA understands that it requires cutting-edge cameras to find out more about the ocean floor, which can help inform how scientists explore oceans on other plants. Find similar cutting edge cameras here, at a reasonable price.