Discovering otherwise undetected shipwrecks scattered throughout the oceans could shed light on previously lost history.
In the world of exploration, this is the future. Satellites for both ocean and terrestrial discovery.
Ancient shipwrecks might not only hold buried treasures, but also countless historical secrets. Now researchers suggest satellites could help spot submerged wrecks that might otherwise go undiscovered.
More than three million shipwrecks may be scattered across the oceans,UNESCO estimates. “Of all the wrecks in the world, maybe less than 10 percent have been found,” says James Delgado, director of maritime heritage at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “Any technology that enables us to pinpoint wrecks is a step in the right direction.”
Submerged wrecks are currently detected via waterborne sonar and airborne LiDAR systems—the former searches for wrecks with sound whereas the latter uses lasers. Waterborne sonar is most effective for deep water; airborne LiDAR requires clear water.