- Jeju Life
- Local Businesses
"The ocean covers 70% of the earth's surface but remains unknown. We could use a drone for the development of the maritime industry."
Deep Blue-Explorer, founded in 2021, is an expert underwater and air drone photography company. Initially, CEO Kim Dae-bum planned to create video content with underwater drone films. Over time, he has learned that there are infinite areas where a drone can be utilized. Above all, the Jeju-based company could enjoy many more opportunities to work with the Korean Coast Guard and maritime universities. There have been many maritime issues and problems, and he could figure out what technologies were needed to address them.
Technology as a solution to problems on the scene
CEO Kim Dae-bum, DeepBlue Explorer
The available maritime data are mostly from the surface of the sea collected via satellites, ships, and buoys. But the surface data tells a very limited story because the sea is dynamic, with different currents and temperatures depending on the depth of water. "For example, a person was missing near the northeast coast of Jeju. At that time, the current was known to flow northbound, but the body was found in the south. When a person falls into the water, the person sinks and rises, a process much affected by different water currents," said Kim. That is why he collects maritime data with underwater drones.
The 'Deep Blue-Eye' had to be developed because he had trouble wasting time during a critical search mission, where the divers could not share their video footage among themselves. The Deep Blue-Eye is a control system that enables the users to share the security code to share video footage in real-time and connects up to eight devices to watch the scenes simultaneously. The system enables a quick and broad check across any ocean disaster scenes, which would lead to faster responses.
The underwater photos were taken by a drone in the Jeju sea
And he also developed the 'Deep Blue-Memory,' a video data sorting program, in order to add values to the video footage, which automatically sorts out the clips into 40 different categories, including organism, vegetation, depth of water, and temperature. For example, he said, "The temperature changes alter the water temperature, acidity(pH), and salinity. But no data have been available."
The Deep Blue-Explorer regularly collects video data on eight coastal zones of Jeju. The sorted data are used for public safety, such as maritime safety and the search for lost articles, and academic research into coral bleaching, seaweed breeding, environmental changes following seasonal organism distributions, environmental impact assessments, and maritime science.
Underwater drones as the one-stop solution
The Deep Blue-Explorer is built based on incomparable technology. It successfully filmed the artificial fish bank installation process for the first time in Korea. "The Jeju sea is known for its beauty, but tough due to strong wind and fast currents. If things are trained in this environment, they are ready for any situation and become versatile indeed," said Kim.
A maritime drone requires more specialized knowledge and operation proficiency than an airborne drone. The operator should be equipped with highly-specialized skills, but also knowledge of the sea and the physical strength to swim underwater. Kim Dae-bum aims to provide a one-stop solution covering from equipment supply to image transmission in real-time to data analysis to maritime agencies and institutions because he thinks that a lack of well-trained experts and expert companies, which can operate an underwater drone, leads to frequent occurrences of maritime accidents.
Deep Blue-Explorer collecting underwater data based on expertise
Currently, the Deep Blue-Explorer is actively used to check the bottom of a hull, aquafarms, underwater cable pipes, and waterways, search for lost articles and record maritime facilities. The clients are diverse, from small ship owners, national agencies such as the National Institute of Fisheries Science, and construction companies performing maritime installations. The company has been recognized for its great business potential and excellent technological strength, which have been the justification for support from various agencies within Jeju and the foundation for its fast growth.
Kim is committed to ocean exploration via his company, armed with technological strengths, advanced devices, and expertise, and to continuing his endeavor until the Deep Blue-Explorer becomes the only name for those who want to know more about the world under the sea surface. The sea-archiving is ongoing even at this moment.