Delving Deep in the Pacific

[from Deep-Sea Life Vol 13]

 Liz Taylor

DOER Marine, California USA

The University of Hawaii’s H6500 ROV “Lu’ukai” supported a number of missions in 2018, making over 100 dives in total. DOER Marine built the H6500 system which includes an ROV with TMS that operates on standard .681 oceanographic umbilical. The ROV is equipped with dual manipulator arms, multiple cameras, Cathx lighting, seven 5HP thrusters, a retractable collection drawer, sonar, altimeter, DVL, Phins, and additional sensors/instruments. The multiple TMS cameras and lighting provide overhead views of the ROV when working in terrain or around objects on the sea bed.

During a 7-week Clarion Clipperton Ridge cruise, numerous species were documented and secured in bio boxes using the dual manipulator arms. On average, dives ranged from 4000m to 5500m with up to twenty hours of bottom time. A fossilized whale skeleton was observed along with the mineral nodules that are of intense interest to mining companies. Drs. Jeff Drazen and Craig Smith were the lead PIs for the expedition.

The ROV, ship and marine center at UH are vital, regional assets for the Pacific and of special value for investigation and monitoring of the CCZ.

ROV image credits: University of Hawaii, DeepCCZ & DOER Marine (ROV)

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