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ROV NEWS: Name that New Deep-submergence Vehicle

Posted on 10.05.2006 - 14:43 EDT in ROV NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links

WHOIA new deep-sea vehicle under construction at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution promises to have a lot of capabilities: It will dive to the deepest ocean trenches, operate as an autonomous vehicle for wide-area ocean surveys, and transform into a tethered vehicle for close-up sampling of seafloor rocks and organisms.

What it doesn’t have is a name. This spring, WHOI engineers plan to pick one from suggestions provided by students participating in the California-based Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center.

Headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College, MATE provides students in the U.S. and Canada opportunities to explore marine-related careers through internship programs and an annual remotely operated vehicle (ROV) design competition. The naming contest is open only to the 200 teams of junior high, high school, and college students involved in MATE’s design competition.

Click for larger imageThe vehicle — now known as the Hybrid Remotely Operated Vehicle, or HROV—will have a depth range of 36,000 feet (11,000 meters). It should be ready for field-testing in 2007.

Contest guidelines state that the name must have a connection to WHOI or to a pioneer in underwater technology development. (For example, more than four decades ago, the deep submersible Alvin was named for WHOI scientist Allyn Vine.)

The name should also reflect unique technology used in the vehicle. HROV will include battery packs the size of cell phones; a hair-thin communications cable 20 miles (32 kilometers) long; and ceramic flotation instead of traditional syntactic foam.

Teams have until May 1 to submit suggestions, along with rationales for their name. The winning name will be selected by WHOI engineers and announced June 25 at an awards banquet at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The winning team will also visit the HROV at WHOI in fall 2006.

April 24, 2006

WHOI: Oceanus

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