Sea Technology

JUL 2017

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34 st / July 2017 www.sea-technology.com An example of this is a razor blade cutter used to cut pieces of line or soft corals when an entire specimen is not needed. Other areas of interest from scientists include wa- ter sampling and sediment core sampling capabilities. UVP plans on working with their in-house machinist to achieve some of these new ideas. UVP was scheduled to do a month-long ROV survey of mesophotic and deepwater reef ecosystems with the collec- tion skid in Cuba in May 2017 with the NOAA Coopera- tive Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research & Technology (CIOERT, www.cioert.org). These surveys took place aboard the University of Miami's RV Walton Smith. UVP is also planning on spending four weeks in the FG- BNMS (http://flowergarden.noaa.gov) working on boundary expansion ROV surveys, long-term monitoring projects of Stetson Bank and East Bank, and post-removal ROV surveys of the HI389A oil platform using the collection skid aboard the NOAA ship Manta. Acknowledgments The authors are indebted to William Baxley at HBOI's Engineering Department for taking this concept and making it a reality. All man hours required to fabricate the collection skid were donated in association with UNCW's partnership with CIOERT/HBOI. He produced this scientifically signifi- cant tool on a shoestring budget, and we greatly appreciate the work he put into it. Thanks to William Laing for design- ing the graphical user interface and troubleshooting efforts to keep it running. The authors would also like to thank the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation for providing fund- ing for this project. ST Jason White is an ROV pilot for the Undersea Vehicles Program at UNCW. He received his B.S. in marine science and meteorology from NC State University in 2008. White has completed 16 ROV missions, 210 ROV dives, and spent more than 364 hours on the seafloor piloting the ROV for UNCW-UVP. Lance Horn is the operations director of the Undersea Vehicles Program at UNCW. His primary responsibility is managing the Undersea Vehicles Program, including three ROVs and a Slocum glider AUV. He has been supporting un- dersea scientific research with scuba, technical diving, manned submersibles, ROVs and AUVs for 31 years. Improvements, Upcoming Missions During the two years UNCW-UVP has operated the sample collection skid, some adjustments have been made from the original prototype made by HBOI. Syntactic foam was added to the skid to increase payload of samples. A 6-in.-diameter sewage pipe was added between the vertical thruster on the ROV and the bottom of the collection skid to act as a tunnel to direct flow and increase vertical thrust. Thrust increased to such a point that a stainless steel mesh was added to the top of the tunnel to keep rocks drawn up by the thruster from jamming the propeller. Slots and holes were also drilled in the bottom of the carousel on the back of the ROV to allow sand to self-filter out of the apparatus. A complete spares list was put together and acquired to pre- vent any downtime of the collection skid while at sea. Like all prototype pieces of scientific equipment, there is room for improvement. UVP has found that different unique sets of jaws were needed for the manipulator along with different tools for collecting a wide range of underwater samples. Images from the collection skid's additional cameras in the Gulf of Mexico May 2015. Top left: Kongsberg digital stills camera facing straight. Top right: suction sampler rotating car- ousel camera. Bottom left: bio box overhead camera. Bottom right: manipulator camera.

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