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Engineering and Technology Colloquia Series

Development and Field Trials of the Nereus Hybrid Underwater Robotic Vehicle for Global Ocean Science to 11,000 m Depth

Presented by: Louis Whitcomb (Johns Hopkins University)
Category: Engineering Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour   Broadcast date: November 30, 2010
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This talk reports the development the Nereus hybrid underwater robotic vehicle (HROV) and the results its first deep sea trials. In May/June 2009 Nereus successfully performed scientific observation and sampling operations at hadal depths of 10,903 m on a NSF sponsored expedition to the Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench – the deepest spot on Earth. In October 2009 the vehicle successfully performed autonomous survey and teleoperated sampling on a NASA ASTEP sponsored expedition to the Mid-Cayman Rise. The Nereus underwater vehicle is designed to perform scientific survey and sampling to the full depth of the ocean – significantly deeper than the depth capability of all other present-day operational vehicles. For comparison, the second deepest underwater vehicle currently operational worldwide can dive to 7,000 m maximum depth. The Nereus vehicle project is lead by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with collaboration of the Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.