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August 21, 2012

By Eric Hanneman

Deepwater Canyons

The ROV went down to the bottom yesterday, 500 meters beneath the surface, near the head of Baltimore Canyon. The crew that runs the submersible had been busy, making adjustments and some last minute modifications. They were working on the robotic arm, which has a lot of moving parts that all have to work together like an intricately choreographed ballet. If you change one part, then many others have to change too. The whole ROV is much the same way, and can be a beautiful thing one minute and very temperamental and frustrating the next.

Previous to this expedition the ROV was in the Gulf of Mexico where it got entangled on an oil rig and lost its connection to the surface. It had to be rescued by another ROV. There is some minor damage visible on the foam shell that helps keep it neutrally buoyant.  We were lucky to…

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