Caitlyn Mitchell, a University of Delaware senior from Smyrna, joined a January expedition of UDel’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment to the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences to study coral reefs and shipwrecks.

Led by Art Trembanis, associate professor of marine science and policy, the team found the wreckage of a World War II B-24 bomber that crashed in February 1945.

The work involved use of UD’s robotic surveying equipment, allowing students to explore areas that couldn’t be reached by scuba diving. Before setting out with the AUV to look for the plane, the students investigated reports about the plane crash and weather conditions on the night of the crash. They compared newer maps against older maps and were able to guess coordinates to plug into the AUV for the search.

“We brought some drones and some other sensors and equipment that allowed us to go out and collect data, process that data, plan missions with robot systems and execute those missions,” said Trembanis. “It was very much an active experience.”

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