Introducing HROV NUI: Far-reaching Flexible Explorer

We’re integrating new teams and technologies with the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute; meet NUI!

The hybrid remotely-operated vehicle (HROV) Nereid Under-Ice (NUI) was originally developed by engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to explore hazardous or rapidly changing environments such as ice shelves and beneath floating sea ice and to operate as either remotely-operated vehicle tethered to a research vessel or a fully autonomous, free-swimming vehicle. NUI is joining us on E/V Nautilus for our third expedition of 2022 featuring NOAA Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute partners in a collaborative effort to test, refine, and demonstrate new technologies working together to expand our capabilities to explore the world’s ocean.

Traditional ROVs with heavily armored tethers have limited mobility laterally away from the host ship, but NUI is connected to the surface by a lightweight fiber-optic tether and so is able to move much more freely once deployed or, if deployed from an icebreaker anchored in sea ice, is able to remain in one location while the ship drifts with the ice. NUI Is also a testbed for new underwater exploration technologies and methods. On this expedition, NUI team members will once again press the boundaries of the vehicle’s autonomous and remote operational capabilities. They will also test its ability to operate at extreme horizontal distance from the ship in preparation for a 2023 trip to study the submerged face of a glacier in Greenland.

Learn more about this expedition funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute.