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Meteor-Blog: Welcome to ROV-Hausen

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Today by Joerg Tonnies.

Planetearth Blog

18. July 2008 (Author: Jörn Tonnius)

19°06' S, 011° 47' E

Jörn Tonnius“Hi, my name is Jörn Tonnius. I am a PhD student at the MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences Bremen where I am working in the research group hydrothermal systems. During this cruise, I will be working with the geochemistry team to collect pore water samples from the sediment cores, perform analyses and prepare them for further analysis in Europe.”

Welcome to ROV-Town!

18. Juli: ShiptrackToday’s main attraction was the introduction of all scientists to the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) „QUEST 4000“, the remotely controlled dive robot of the MARUM at the University of Bremen.

At first, the whole scientific team gathered in the conference room, where the ROV team leader Volker Ratmeyer gave a presentation about the technical equipment of “QUEST”. The huge array of sensors, cameras and manipulators that can be deployed during the dives down to a depth of 4000 meter is very impressive. After the presentation, small groups were led to the working deck. There, the dive robot and its surroundings, including a giant cable-winch and the big control container, form a small community of its own: the so-called “ROV-Town.

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Picture 1: The “town sign of ROV-Town” marks the restricted access area surrounding QUEST 4000 on the working deck.

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Picture 2: ROV team leader Volker Ratmeyer explains QUEST 4000 to a group of scientists

During the dives, a crew of nine technicians will work there in shifts. The control room of the dive robot alone uses a whole container. The remaining free space in the container is normally used by only four people: the two ROV-pilots and two scientists, one of them leading the dive and the other preparing the protocol. The high resolution pictures of the dive recorded by the HDTV- cameras are directly transferred to the ship net and then presented on a big screen.

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Picture 3: The control container of the dive robot

After the long transit to the dive sites, a very intensive program of long dives is planned. Therefore, all scientists on board will most likely have the chance to accompany some of the dives in the control room. I’m looking forward to that and to all the new things we will learn during these dives.

Jörn Tonnius

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Picture 4: View into the control room of Quest 4000