Science & Tech

Chartering Our Technology

Exploration Vessel Nautilus and OET’s Mobile ROV System are available for charter to scientists, government agencies, corporations, or NGOs for oceanographic research and education projects that align with Ocean Exploration Trust’s mission. Nautilus will be operating in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean between the west coast of North America, Guam, and American Samoa. In addition, we have the capability of putting our 4,000-6,000 m rated ROV systems on a chartered vessel to conduct exploration anywhere in the world.

Nautilus is equipped with a Kongsberg EM302 Multibeam Echosounder, deep submergence remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) Hercules and Argus rated to 4,000 meters, and a high-bandwidth satellite telepresence system. We also may be able to accommodate specialized vehicles or other equipment.

ROV Hercules suspended on the crane

ROV Hercules

Since it was first launched in 2003, ROV Hercules has been working in tandem with ROV Argus to explore the geology, biology, archaeology, and chemistry of the deep sea. Hercules is equipped with a high-definition video camera, several LED lights, two manipulator arms, and a variety of oceanographic sensors and samplers. A suite of high-resolution mapping tools is also available for use upon request. Hercules can deliver approximately 68–113 kg (150–250 lbs) of samples or tools to and from the seafloor. 

Legacy image

ROV (Towsled) Argus

ROV Argus was first launched in 2000 as a deep-tow system capable of diving to 6,000 meters. Argus is mainly used in tandem with ROV Hercules, where it hovers several meters above in order to provide a bird’s-eye view of Hercules working on the seafloor. Argus is also capable of operating as a stand-alone system for large-scale deepwater survey missions. 

multi beam echosounder

Kongsberg EM302 Multibeam Echosounder

The EM302 is a hull-mounted 30 kHz multibeam echosounder composed of two long transducer arrays mounted in a T-shape on the hull of Nautilus. It was installed on the ship between 2012 and 2013 to collect bathymetric, backscatter, and water column data to identify areas or features of interest including gas seeps, create bathymetric maps for ROV dive planning, and situational awareness. The EM302 can map the seafloor in water depths from 10 m to 7,000 m (33 ft to 22,965 ft) at ship speeds up to 12 knots.

Mobile System

Mobile ROV System

OET’s full mobile ROV system supports all of the OET ROVs and with an overboarding system suitable for operations to 6000m depth.  It includes a 3 container Control Van assembly (which can be modified down to a configuration of one 20’ converted shipping van), a tool van, a spares van, a science van, a winch with 7000m EOM umbilical, an A-Frame, a Crane, an internet satellite dish, a USBL navigation system, ROV Hercules, ROV Little Hercules, Sled ROV Atalanta, and Sled ROV Argus.  The equipment is currently set up to run on 480V 3ф, 60Hz, and the peak load of the full system is 350kVA.

In addition to the advanced technologies available on Nautilus, an added benefit is the access to education and outreach programs and partnerships that we have developed since 2010. On all Nautilus expeditions, we stream video and audio live on our homepage; conduct live ship-to-shore interactions between Nautilus and aquariums, museums, and schools on shore; and host educators and students from our Science Communication Fellowship and Science & Engineering Internship Program who fill key operational roles on board.

Examples of Applied Exploration projects conducted aboard Nautilus in recent years include: 

  • Ocean Networks Canada (British Columbia, 2015-2018, 2020)
  • National Geographic (Expedition Amelia, Central Pacific, 2019)
  • Air/Sea Heritage Foundation (Search for Samoan Clipper, 2019)
  • ECOGIG (Gulf of Mexico, 2013-2015) 
  • GISR (Gulf of Mexico, 2014-2015)

If you are interested in using E/V Nautilus or OET's mobile ROV system for your oceanographic research or education project, please contact for more information.