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Open Access The Nereus hybrid underwater robotic vehicle

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The Nereus vehicle will enable scientists to explore remote regions of the oceans, such as under the polar ice caps and deep trenches, up to depths of 10 972m (36 000ft). Technology limitations have prevented routine, cost-effective access to these remote regions, and the final 4500m of the ocean remain largely unexplored. New solutions to deep diving are described. The Nereus hybrid remotely operated vehicle (HROV) is designed for exploration and research needs as a single system. It can operate as an autonomous vehicle for seafloor surveys, or in a tethered/ROV mode to sample rocks or deep-sea animals The HROV Nereus transforms between its two modes of operation to accomplish all these tasks during a single cruise deployment. Sea trials of Nereus took place off the Hawaiian Islands at 2500m in November 2007. An overview of the vehicle and results from its initial trials are reported here.

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Keywords: AUTONOMOUS INTERVENTION; CERAMIC; HYBRID REMOTELY OPERATED VEHICLE (HROV); HYBRID ROV/AUV; LED LIGHTING; MARIANAS TRENCH; NEREUS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2009

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