Yi Chao

CEO and Founder at SEATREC
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Yi is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder at SEATREC. He pioneered the ocean thermal energy harvesting project at NASA JPL in collaboration with his co-Inventors, Jack Jones and Thomas Valdez. Additionally, Yi was the PI for the SOLO-TREC project funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the follow-on project Slocum-TREC. As an oceanographer prone to seasickness, Yi decided to study the ocean from outer space and was a Project Scientist for the successful Aquarius Satellite Mission (a $300M NASA project that launched the first salinity satellite), where he was responsible for science, technology, and engineering implementation. He has worked on numerous projects ranging from ocean science, satellite oceanography, ocean modeling, and underwater technology development. Currently, he is affiliated with the University of California at Los Angeles as an Adjunct Professor.

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  • 80% of the seafloor has not been mapped at high-resolution – an area roughly twice the size of Mars – and covering an area that large using ships and today’s state-of-the-art autonomous platforms will cost billions of dollars. This initiative brings together a seafloor mapping dream team with the transformative technology needed to create a sustainably powered method for mapping the ocean floor for a fraction of the cost compared to ships.

    6 March 2022
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