AUV NEWS: Saab’s technology helps murder investigation
Posted on 07.12.2007 - 14:00 EST in AUV NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links
A underwater vehicle from Saab Underwater Systems has been used by the Swedish police to search for the body of a woman who has been missing for two years.
It is the underwater vehicle AUV Sapphires that has been used in the investigation. The police have shown interest in Saab's help also in other investigations.
"We have received a thorough report from Saab with clear longitude and latitude indications on a number of interesting positions. Two of the positions in particular are very interesting. If we make any discoveries that take the investigation forward it will be remarkable progress", says Inspector Robert Kalmendal of Östergötland police.
A new lead in the summer led to specific interest in a lake north of Motala. The conditions in the lake are very difficult with up to 40 cm of silt on the bottom. The body could have been in the lake for two years which means that the sediment could have built up. Before Saab's underwater vehicle was used in the investigation a number of dives had been carried out. Trailing sonar has also been used.
"We made contact with Saab after speaking to the Navy divers who had good experience of Saab's underwater technology," says Robert Kalmendal.
More effective investigations
The underwater vehicle AUV Sapphires from Saab Underwater Systems was used in locating a body of a woman who has been missing for two years as well as helping investigations in being significantly more effective.
Underwater mapping was carried out over two days with active operation of just over two hours.
"We made a search over a considerably wider area than before. The twenty diving days that we had carried out previously could probably have been reduced to the two hours that the underwater vehicle needed", suggested Robert Kalmendal.
The relevant area is in a cutting of twenty metres depth. A hundred or so objects, from stones to tree trunks, were found in the sediment. Most of them could be ruled out quickly.
"It was a short and efficient assignment that four of us participated in", says Bo Rydell, program director at Saab Underwater Systems. This is the first time that the civil authorities have used our technology. We hope that there will be more opportunities. Great opportunities for future investigations
The police officers on site were very pleased and impressed with the result of the search regarding the quality of the photographs and the location indications.
"Our strategic command group is very interested in the report of the work. We see great opportunities for future investigations. Every year there are many accidents involving people and water and there are also other occasions when we search for disposed of weapons and similar. With Saab's technology we would be significantly more effective in our investigations," says Robert Kalmendal.
About AUV Sapphires
The police officers on site were very pleased and impressed with the result of the search. They also see great opportunities for future investigations.
AUV Sapphire is a demonstrator that is used to test the next generation of under water platform, TMS.
The vehicle is equipped with a high definition sonar, a type of underwater camera. Because the sonar works with sound waves it can "see" through the bottom sediment, which would be impossible with traditional camera technology.
Normally the vehicle is used in underwater mode but here it was used in overwater mode. The GPS navigation could then be used and the sonar image could be studied in real time. The advanced signal management occurs in the vehicle and so the complete result is achieved quickly.