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August 23, 2012

By Eric Hanneman

Deepwater Canyons

Today was very exciting, my first opportunity to be an assistant in the control room for the ROV during a dive. The control room seats four people and has standing room for a few more. Two people handle the ROV for steering, moving the robotic arm, and communicating with the bridge of the ship to change course or speed. They also coordinate with the tender of the cable tethering the depressor to the ship, to feed out or take in line. All of this is coordinated so that the ROV moves freely and smoothly along the bottom. The lead scientist for the dive wears a headset and describes the dive, noting time, depth, and other pertinent things such as animals seen and physical features of the landscape. The lead also directs where the ROV goes, and what specimens are collected. The assistant writes similar notes about the dive and about…

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