US-based ocean science nonprofit Global Oceans, has acquired, via a donation from Oceaneering, three deep-sea exploration vehicles rated to
6000 meters of operational depth.
The donation includes the Magellan 725 ROV, the Ocean Discovery ROV, and the Ocean Explorer 6000 Towed Sonar System, together with the infrastructure needed to deploy the vehicles including winches, cranes, power systems, operational modules, workshops, and supplies.
"These vehicles contributed to several historic projects, including the successful recovery of the lost Apollo “Liberty Bell 7” space capsule from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean and live-streaming video from the Titanic," Global Oceans says.
Global Oceans commissioned Oceaneering to conduct engineering and manufacturing analysis and proposal, now completed, for rebuilding the two 6000-meter ROVs into dedicated, advanced scientific deep-sea research and exploration platforms.
The parties have also agreed to jointly operate and technically support the ROVs on future Global Oceans projects, on a project contract basis.
The relaunched two-body ROVs will be designed for ease of maintenance in the field and will offer a complement of suction samplers, mini box cores, push cores, sample storage, high-resolution video, extensible lighting, CTD, water sampling capacity, and other interchangeable sampling tools, Global Oceans says.
The ROV depressors will be fitted with battery arrays for auxiliary power at depth.
"A separate proposal to upgrade the Ocean Explorer 6000 Towed System as a dedicated science platform has been consummated with another manufacturer of advanced undersea systems. The rebuild will integrate precision control, high maneuverability and turnaround, autonomous fault management, a multibeam echosounder (MBES), GPS, high-resolution cameras, and biogeochemical sensors," Global Oceans added.
"When relaunched, these vehicles will contribute significant capacity for deep-sea biophysical sampling, seabed mapping, exploration, habitat surveys, and scientific research for several Global Oceans projects, and will be made widely available to the international ocean science community for research and for training the next generation of ocean scientists," the nonprofit explained.
Pete Young, VP/General Manager of Oceaneering Technologies (OTECH) said: “This donation is indicative of Oceaneering's business commitment to support scientific research throughout the world's oceans. Our collaborative agreement with Global Oceans to operate the re-built ROV systems will leverage and expand Oceaneering's highly successful 20+ year operating experience, working closely with ocean scientists to deploy science dedicated ROVs. Oceaneering looks forward to working with the Global Oceans team and to supporting their future efforts.”
Jim Costopulos, CEO of Global Oceans stated: “These vehicles and systems will support Global Oceans' mission of expanding capacity for ocean and atmospheric science, which includes the development and acquisition of scientific vehicle and instrument platforms that can be efficiently deployed through Global Oceans' innovative MARV strategy for configuring time-chartered offshore service vessels (OSVs), modular laboratory and workspace systems, and global logistics support for scientific research worldwide.”