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Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV)
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) are unoccupied underwater robots, connected to an operator via a series of cables. The connecting cables transmit command and control signals to and from the underwater vehicle and the operator, allowing remote navigation of the vehicle.

A typical hydrographic ROV configuration includes a video camera, lights, sonar systems, and an articulating arm.  The articulating arm can be used for retrieving small objects, cutting lines, or attaching lifting hooks to larger objects.  The ROV system includes the vehicle, deck unit, tether management system, hand box controller, laptop computer, and video display.

Current hydrographic uses for the ROV include object identification (such as submerged navigation hazards), vessel hull inspections, and least depth determination.  The system is not intended to be a replacement for hydrographic diver investigations, but could serve as a substitute when diver safety is in question, or when divers are otherwise not available.

The Coast Survey Development Lab (CSDL) is evaluating the use of a commercially available ROV.  The ROV is an inspection class vehicle equipped with a forward-looking high-resolution color zoom video camera.  There are two fixed-focus low light cameras that can be mounted on the ROV sides, facing aft of the vehicle, or on the bottom of the vehicle, facing down.  A high resolution imaging sonar is also available, increasing the ROV’s ‘visual’ range and functionality in varying conditions.  Up to 300 meters of neutrally buoyant tether are available for operations in depths up to 150 meters and an articulating arm is mounted on the front of the ROV.  Sonar records as well as digital video imagery are products from ROV dives. 

Remotely Operated Vehicle operation suite including the topside or control unit, the vehicle and the tether.  

 ROV operational suite (topside/control unit, vehicle and tether)

 Closeup of Remotely Operated Vehicle unit on deck of ship.

 Remotely Operated Vehicle unit

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