ADV Ocean Shield arrived at Geraldton, Western Australia, yesterday to begin preparations to receive spare parts related to the transponder mounted on the Ocean Shield and the transponder mounted on the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21.
The repairs are necessary to correct a hardware issue affecting the ability of the transponders to communicate with each other during a dive. The problem became apparent during Bluefin-21’s last mission on Tuesday.
Ocean Shield was originally going to Dampier to await the transponder parts, however, it was determined that the parts could be delivered to the ship more quickly via the port of Geraldton.
The spare parts are expected to arrive in Geraldton later today.
Once the replacement parts are installed, testing will be conducted at Geraldton prior to Ocean Shield transiting back to the search area.
Malaysian, Australian and Chinese authorities met over the weekend in Fremantle to discuss the bathymetric survey.
It was agreed that the Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen will conduct the bathymetric survey of the areas provided by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
Zhu Kezhen is scheduled to sail for the survey area on Wednesday, weather permitting.
Press Release, May 19, 2014; Image: Australian Navy