WHMSI was founded in 1998 by its Chief Engineer, Jim Newman.
Our primary client for our first dozen years was Dr. Robert Ballard’s Institute for Exploration. We developed a suite of underwater vehicles for search and investigation, particularly in support of archaeology. Argus is a towsled that supports a high definition video camera, and HMI lighting. Argus can operate independently or as a partner for an ROV. In 2000 we built Little Hercules, a small Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with a 4000 meter depth rating and capable of carrying a very large High Definition camera. We operated these first two vehicles on IFE expeditions to the Black Sea (September 2000) and Pearl Harbor (November 2000).
We also developed and fielded a sidescan sonar survey system, Echo, and a shallow water ROV, Orpheus, that provided interactive trans-continental video experiences from NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
In 2003 we completed a larger ROV, Hercules, which we operated during the summer of 2003 for archaeological work on ancient shipwrecks in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. We supported a number of expeditions with Hercules and Argus in the subsequent years on a variety of support ships, including expeditions to investigate geology and biology in the Atlantic and a 2005 survey of the wreck of the RMS Titanic.
During 2009-2010 we were deeply involved in development of a new ship to support these systems, the Exploration Vessel NAUTILUS, for Dr. Ballard’s Ocean Exploration Trust.
Since 2010 we have been involved in a variety of projects for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the University of Rhode Island, Hydroid, Neptune Canada, and NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration. (Please check out our clients’ sites!)
Jim’s personal web page is here.