Global Oceans Acquires ROVs and Towed Sonar System

Global Oceans (New York, N.Y.), a U.S.-based nonprofit corporation focused on mobilizing commercial sector resources for ocean science, has acquired through a donation from Oceaneering International, Inc. (Houston, Texas) three deep-sea exploration vehicles rated to 6000 meters of operational depth: the Magellan 725 ROV, the Ocean Discovery ROV, and the Ocean Explorer 6000 Towed Sonar System, together with a full complement of infrastructure 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 commissioned Oceaneering to conduct extensive 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 consummated an agreement 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. 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.

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.

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