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AR Being Utilised by German Company for Removing Deadly Weapons from the Sea

Augmented reality (AR) is an immersive technology that finds use in a wide variety of applications such as infrastructure and urban planning, medical purposes and games. The list of AR applications is growing day by day, and the technology is now being harnessed for saving lives.

Retrieving wartime debris using augmented reality goggles

A Germany-based company has launched a new project recently for developing safety systems crafted to enable divers to retrieve wartime debris that were dropped into the water during the two world wars. The system works through sensors that enable divers to detect their proximity to lethal TNT levels and hazardous substances. It comes with a revolutionary alarm setup with augmented reality display goggles that let divers know about existing threats, based on a press release by its maker Fraunhofer IGD.

The Baltic Sea and North Sea bordering Germany have a great number of munitions at their bottoms from the world war periods. Currently, experts suggest that the total amount of chemical warfare substances amount to approximately 242,500 tons or 220,000 metric tons, and highlight that retrieving the entirety of it can be quite expensive and hard to achieve. According to them, removing these substances can also be quite a deadly proposition for those involved. Shells of these war weapons are corroded metals that have laid on the seabed for many decades. Reacting with seawater has raised the corrosion level and driven up the risks faced by retrieval parties. Even the most experienced professional divers, equipped with sophisticated gadgets, find it quite challenging to steer clear of the prevalent dangers.

The dangers of retrieving wartime debris in the see

To address such circumstances, several companies and institutes in Germany have joined forces for the launch of the TOxAR initiative. It is a project focused on the development of a full-fledged occupational safety system that can improve underwater endeavours. The latest system has been developed with state-of-the-art sensors that are capable of detecting and evaluating the levels of reactants and waterborne materials, apart from chemicals such as arsenic residues and mustard gas. Arsenic is particularly hard to remove and a dangerous carcinogen that can cause skin burns. Divers are exposed to many other types of danger whilst on these kinds of missions.

With the new technology available now, divers who embark on salvaging missions can scan underwater regions with lances before they take their dives. The cutting-edge system also features real-time communication abilities to facilitate easier sharing of readings, which is usually considered harder to do below the water surface than on land. Lances adopt to a double role for communication and navigation, and carry hazardous substance sensors for chemical contamination and arsenic. On divers removing contaminants out of position, the release of hazardous materials can be analysed easily for making sure that divers are safe.

The divers will be equipped with an augmented reality display in their goggles or a wrist device to alert them of potential dangers and move them into safer distances. This development is a step in the right direction for making the seas safer.

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