Bowen, A.D. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) | Jakuba, M.V. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) | Yoerger, D.R. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) | Whitcomb, L.L. (Johns Hopkins University) | Kinsey, J.C. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) | Mayer, L. (University of New Hampshire) | German, C.R. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
We describe a new underwater vehicle for under-ice telepresence, NereidUI (Under Ice). This paper discusses potential applications,environmental and logistical constraints, and progress to date. Based on lightdata-only fiber tether technology, Nereid UI will provide operatorswith a capability to teleoperate a ~1000 kg remotely operated vehicle (ROV)under fixed ice at ranges up to 20 km distant from a support ship or otherdeployment site under direct human supervision. When operating from anicebound support vessel, the light fiber technology permits the vehicle toremain stationary on the seafloor or maneuver freely in the water column orunder the ice while its support ship drifts with the sea ice up to 20 kmaway. Nereid UI will facilitate its recovery autonomously in theevent that the tether is severed. Prior experience with the hybrid ROVNereus 11,000 m rated vehicle, along with trade studies and conceptdevelopment devoted to Nereid UI has revealed (1) the light fiberconcept is viable in polar waters; (2) battery operation and the need totransit result in an ROV that occupies a unique trade-space with respect todrag; (3) redundant systems and a focus on reliability are necessary to avoidexpensive losses in productivity or the vehicle itself. The Nereid UIproject is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Woods HoleOceanographic Institution.