Exploring the Deepest Depths: Development of a Hybrid Remotely Operated Vehicle for Oceanographic Operations to 11,000m Depth
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Auditorium (NSH 1305)
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm
This talk reports an effort at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to develop an operational underwater vehicle capable of performing scientific survey and sampling to the full depth of the ocean (11,000 meters). The project leadership team includes the speaker, WHOI’s Dr. Dana Yoerger and Andrew Bowen, and researchers from the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. The vehicle, called a hybrid remotely operated vehicle (HROV), will operate in two different modes. For broad area survey, the vehicle will operate untethered as an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) capable of exploring and mapping the seafloor with sonars and cameras. For sampling and intervention, the vehicle will operate as a tethered remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The ROV configuration will incorporate a lightweight fiber optic tether to the surface for high bandwidth real-time video and data telemetry to the surface to enable high-quality teleoperation, additional cameras and lights, a manipulator arm, and sampling gear. This talk outlines the scientific motivation for the project and feasibility of our design concept. An overall vehicle design is also presented, including pressure housings and buoyancy materials.
The HROV project is supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Louis L. Whitcomb completed a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
in 1984 and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1992, both at
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