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Pushing Forward Multi-Vehicle Operations With HROV NUI

In September 2021, E/V Nautilus will host hybrid remotely-operated vehicle (HROV) Nereid Under Ice (NUI) off the coast of southern California to test acoustic modem communications between it and ROV Argus, as well as to remotely survey sites of interest to the scientific community at two deep-sea environments. NUI was developed by engineers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) as a vehicle originally intended to explore far under ice shelves and difficult-to-reach places.

The importance of this expedition lies in testing the ability of NUI to operate in different modes, from fully autonomous (mapping on a preset mission), to semi-autonomous (receiving a new mapping mission via optical modem), to fully controlled via an optical modem on ROV Atalanta to collect push cores or other samples. This proof-of-concept operations test will lead to new methodologies or “concepts of operations” for underwater exploration in the future.

Funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration through the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute (OECI), these technology demonstrations support the OECI’s objective to build towards autonomous vehicles sharing information, allowing each vehicle to be more effective and to provide increased situational awareness to the vehicle operators aboard or ashore.

Swipe through the album to learn more about how E/V Nautilus will deploy and test NUI, working together with ROV Argus to push forward technological operations between multiple underwater vehicles.