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ROV Operation from a Small Boat

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Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are useful tools for aquatic research, but are underutilized because of the high operational costs and limited versatility of older models. Scientifically useful ROVs were originally very expensive to purchase or lease, and costly to operate with limited models available. With an increase in the number of models available and lower operating costs, the use of ROVs in science is steadily increasing. However, scientists may be reluctant to use this technology because of past budgetary and operational constraints, or are unaware of the lower-priced models that are now available. There are a number of ROVs that are relatively inexpensive and can be operated without specialized teams and platforms. We describe how to greatly reduce ROV operational costs and increase versatility by operating the ROV with two to three people from a small boat without hydraulics and in limited space. This combination can be safely used in a variety of weather conditions. For this purpose, any recreationally used personal boat is considered a small boat. We used a Phantom XTL ROV and boats (without cabins) ranging from 16 to 24 feet long; both were chosen for low price and light weight, and had adequate features and design for safe and reliable nearshore scientific research.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-06-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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