Sea Technology

DEC 2012

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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The dimmable LED lights on These various parts resulted in the vehicle are enclosed in small a low-cost, easy-to-deploy robotglass spheres and can operate at ic vehicle system that allows for 11,000 meters depth. The lights an increased exploration tempo and the rest of the vehicle are in the deepest parts of the world's powered from the OceanServer oceans. lithium-ion battery pack containing approximately 760 wattPuerto Rico Trench Dive hours of energy. The vehicle has Promare's dive to the bottom a power-control function allowof the Puerto Rico Trench ining for long passive periods with volved the 11K operating in AUV minimal battery drain, which is mode. This testing was done to particularly useful during long show that the system worked and periods of ascent and descent for would successfully return video abyssal dives. and samples from the deep seaA single-board computer foor. A map of the Puerto Rico Trench. (Photo Credit: Google Earth, controls all vehicle functions. In TerraMetrics Inc., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, NOAA, The 11K was deployed and AUV mode, the system is pre- U.S. Navy, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, General recovered from an 18-meter programmed and the computer Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans, U.S. Geological Survey) charter boat from San Juan. It controls the vehicle completely, was dropped over the side by while HD video is stored on two crew members late at night board. In ROV mode, the vehicle is controlled via a fberand descended to the bottom in less than two hours at a optic connection providing two channels of communicaspeed of 1.25 meters per second. tion. One channel is a 1-gigabit-per-second network for opJust before touchdown, the system was activated and erator commands and sensor measurements, and the other began to record video. After three hours of recording, the provides real-time high-defnition video signals. ascent weight was dropped and the vehicle returned to the There is also an independent and dedicated GPS and Iridsurface with a speed of about 1 meter per second. ium circuitry on board from NAL Research Corp. (Manassas, Once on the surface, the GPS and Iridium system were Virginia). This system acquires a position fx that is transmitturned on and SMS messages were sent with the position to ted to the vehicle operators as soon as the vehicle surfaces a handheld Iridium phone on the survey boat. Less than half for easy relocation. an hour after it surfaced, the system was back on deck. www.sea-technology.com DECEMBER 2012 / st 55

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