THEMO observatory - The University of Haifa and Texas A&M University have established an oceanographic observatory, termed “Texas A&M – University of Haifa Eastern Mediterranean Observatory” (“THEMO”). The observatory comprises of two sensor arrays attached to 2.25m diameter surface buoys. THEMO will include a shallow mooring (125m) in the coastal zone and a deeper one 60 km offshore in the Levant Basin of the Mediterranean Sea. The deeper mooring (1425m) will be equipped with a profiler which will communicate to a subsea float and from there to a surface buoy. This array will also have a time-series sediment trap at 1000m. Both arrays will have acoustic capabilities, standard sensor and inductively-coupled thermistor chains. The data will be received at a shore station through a fast two-way communication link, and will be displayed on 8 large tiled screens at Haifa. Deployment of the shallow mooring is expected on 10/2016 and that of the deep mooring is expected on 10/2017.
The Subsea Engineering lab, headed by Prof. Morel Groper. Focuses on new concept submersibles, propulsion and maneuvering for underwater vehicles including the development of trajectory simulations and unique underwater directional thrusters, novel oil compensated actuators for deep-sea operation, pressure vessels and sealing methods. Some of the current research topics include: motion of planning crafts in seaway, dynamic modeling of hovering AUVs, deep sea propulsion components and pressure vessels. In the lab we perform also research in tribology where the lubricant is sea water.
The Marine Imaging lab, headed by Dr. Tali Treibitz. Focuses on cutting edge research in underwater computer vision, scene, color and 3D reconstruction, automatic analysis of scenes, and autonomous decision making based on visual input. In addition we design and build novel underwater imaging systems, such as underwater microscopes.
The Applied Marine Exploration lab, headed by Dr. Yizhaq Makovsky. Focuses on innovative use of observational geophysics to address geological and environmental questions. Main research interests include the study of traditional and alternative marine energy sources, and the geotechnical and environmental aspects of exploiting them. In particular, gas hydrates, their potential exploitation and response to global changes; Morphology and recent evolution of the seafloor as an indicator of: recent paleo-environmental and tectonic processes; Active processes of the geosphere: Paleoseismology and mechanism of faulting; the role of free fluids in the Earth’s crust; Innovative techniques for monitoring environmental changes (e.g. coral reef bleaching, marine biomass, pollutants accumulation, soil water interaction, etc.).
The Underwater Acoustics and Navigation lab (ANL), headed by Dr. Roee Diamant, , is active in the fields of underwater acoustic communication networks, underwater signal detection, object classification, underwater localization, and underwater navigation. Our research interests include channel modeling, design of algorithms and protocols, analysis, and development of simulation tools. We focus on applied research and develop tools for problems like underwater mine detection, navigation without GPS, communication between divers and autonomous vehicles, classification and characterisation of marine mammals and fish, tracking the motion of marine animals, and long range acoustic communication. The facilities in the lab include equipment for sea experiments, a large acoustic chamber, and a direct access to perform measurements from the lab in a testing pool and in the Shikmona reef.