Noted University of Southern Mississippi underwater scientist Vernon Asper uses VideoRay to study Weddell seals, tow iRobot glider for deployment.
VideoRay received two messages from Vernon Asper this week:
....We have the VideoRay ROV here in Antarctica, as promised and are planning to use it as a tugboat on the surface to drag our iRobot Seaglider as far away from the ice edge as possible before launching it. We only have the two 250' extensions (tether) so it'll be only 500' from the edge but that's going to have to do (the Pelican box with the winch was lost in shipping).
In the meantime, we have been driving the ROV around under the ice so I have some neat videos. You can see the location and some frames from the video here on our Facebook page.
The VideoRay ROV (left side of picture with the yellow float visible just above the surface) tows the iRobot Seaglider away from the ice for deployment. Photo: Vernon Asper
Bastiene, the French scientist who was driving the VideoRay, said that it was the easiest ROV to drive that he'd ever handled and I think that says it all. Flawless performance....
....And we used it, with an extension tether, to "tugboat" our iRobot Seaglider away from the ice edge late last night. I'll be posting my photos later today; we could NOT have done this without the trusty ROV and it worked flawlessly. We used a lasso that I tied to the back of the ROV and held the other end, with a small ball attached to make it "grippier", with the grabber which was mounted on the back of the vehicle. When we got to the end of the tether, we opened the gripper, the lasso slipped around the glider and we drove away from it. Lovely! Lots of people were skeptical that it would work but I was confident!