Page 40: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2006)


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Marine science is turning to the new generation of intel- ligent ROVs for demanding survey and sampling research projects. Latest to lead the trend is the Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science Division of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Belfast,

Northern Ireland. Delivery of their vehicle from Seaeye

Marine follows orders from Scottish Natural Heritage and the Environment and Heritage Service Water

Management Unit in County Antrim. Success for Seaeye has come from their development of a range of vehicles that are designed to be lighter, less costly to operate and, through the use of intelligent electronics, better able to do increasingly complex tasks with more sophisticated data acquisition systems. The Belfast unit, for instance, needed an ROV that could operate at 1000 m in strong currents working in coastal waters out to the shelf edge. The

Seaeye Tiger they ordered will allow them to complete synoptic maps of key areas in GIS format including devel- oping a video database of benthic habitats. Subsequent analysis will indicate sensitivity to fishing, aquaculture and land run off. To achieve this, the Tiger is fitted with a

Kongsberg broadcast quality video camera, a digital stills camera and strobe, a Tritech laser image scaling zoom camera and spare interfaces for scientific sensors and an acoustic tracking system. Scottish Natural Heritage, working under the European Habitat Directive in the search for conservation of biodiversity in Scotland, seeks to identify animals and plants as part of a rolling pro- gramme of 34 marine sites. In choosing the Falcon ROV from Seaeye they specified top quality video imaging and picked a 3CCD broadcast quality camera with video mul- tiplexed and transmitted over fiber optics in the umbilical.

For the second camera they needed image scaling down to one millimetre, so they chose a Tritech laser image-scaling color zoom camera. Also important for SNH was the

Falcon's maneuverability, which gives access to those sites with cliffs over 115 m deep and where only an ROV such as this can perform the role needed. The Seaeye concept allows a range of task-specific modules to be simply bolt- ed on to the standard-build Falcon ROV and changed in minutes, allowing the core operating vehicle to be easily tailored to perform a variety specialized tasks by using dedicated modules.

Visit & Click No. 60 Marine Technology Reporter 41


ROV Picked for Advanced Habitat Research

Underwater Robotics Techniques for Port Security

A one-day Underwater Port Security, Law Enforcement and Public Safety Micro-

ROV Mini-School conducted after the VideoRay International Partner Symposium (VIPS) was a success for the six coast guard units and members of St. Louis County

Sheriff's Office and Rescue Squad who attended. The course was conducted by leaders from USCG Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSSTs) from Seattle and the St.

Louis County, Minnesota Sheriff's Office. Afternoon sessions consisted of skills devel- opment exercises at MarineLab Undersea Laboratory . One option for attendees was to plan, organize, and execute a wide area search for a drowning victim using a combina- tion of side scan sonar, and VideoRays. Another was to rotate through four simultane- ous hands-on stations: a retrieval exercise, a pier sweep, an obstacle course, and a vessel inspection. "In order to use new technology like this to its potential, we need training, and we need to share what works and what doesn't" said

CWO Mike Spute of MSST 91108 in St. Mary's, Georgia. "This event was excellent on both accounts."

Visit & Click No. 56

Side view of Pro III thrusters showing improved seals and larger props.

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Marine Technology

Marine Technology Reporter is the world's largest audited subsea industry publication serving the offshore energy, subsea defense and scientific communities.