A multimillion dollar unmanned submarine has arrived at Pillar Point Harbor! The bright yellow drone named, Echo Ranger, has been around for a few days while testing goes on before it is is launched to do some underwater map surveying.
Crews are preparing the Echo Ranger to survey the USS Independence, an aircraft carrier scuttled in 1951 by the U.S. Navy. The shipwreck is located by the Faralawn Islands some twenty miles off the San Francisco Bay Area coast.
When all the testing and programming is complete, Echo Ranger will be towed off the coast and then released to do all the business it was pre-programmed to do. Imagine. That drone and its business are all run from this computer at the harbor.
The USS Independence is rich in Naval history. The project is an effort to help preserve history, especially for the men who served on the carrier and their families.
NOAA Research Vessel Fulmar will be used to tow the Echo Ranger out to sea and back as soon as the mission is complete.