Inspecting the GEOMAR Benthocosms platform

February 5 2015
The purpose of this expedition is to inspect the state of the platform of the GEOMAR Benthocosms in Kiel, Germany. Read background
sea

February 5 2015

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Debriefing Stage

Ignoring our accident, the trip was an overall success. The currents could again be identified as the arch enemy of the OpenROV but in calm waters the vehicle gives great possibilities for observation of submerged structures and wildlife.

In order to prevent break downs in the saline environment we needed to conduct two fixes:
The Arduino code needed to be adjusted to NOT ignore the thrust factor when turning left or right. Before our tweak, this lead to total battery break downs on every second turn, even on thrust factor 2.
Additionally we needed to pot the motors to prevent shorts in the saline environment. Liquid rubber should be preferred here since potting with epoxy was intense work to fit the coils back into the motor bells. Overall it did a great job during diving as well as during some electric short testing with a multimeter.

Now we fixed the tether and the ROV is all up and running for the next expedition/trip.

Mission Underway

The clear water of the area and the new improvements in the ROV allowed us to have a good overview of the underwater platform. We found a wide marine life with starfish and mussels.

Some problems were found to manouver the ROV due to the strong currents in the area. Once it was directed towards the right direction we had a clear view of the pontoon.

The ROV tether got unfortunatelly caught in the rotating axle of the engine of a pump, cutting the cable and interrupting our mision.

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Preparation Stage

On February 5th we will go to Kiel, GEOMAR Benthocosms to evaluate the state of the platform. To expand our misions to a salty water environment we have potted the motors with epoxy.

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Expedition Background

The objective of this expedition is to 1) monitor the state of the underwater structure of the GEOMAR Benthocosms platform and 2) test the hardware improvements that were done to adapt the ROV to a saline environment.

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