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Hunting the Dust - Blog

Bad luck

01.05.11, 13:46 (comments: 0)

The last few days were hard. Why? Well after we have finished the mooring work at Kiel276 trials of the new ROV (remotely operated vehicle) developed in collaborations between our institute, Enitech, Evologics and the TU Berlin started. Initially, apart from small technological problems, which all have been solved while on board, the work was going well. We were able to dive with the ROV down to 5200m, have seen the bottom around the mooring position. All of us, including myself were very optimistic, and believed we have made huge step in the right direction. Unfortunately all of us were mistaken. During a new dive to the bottom we first lost the communication between the deck unit and the ROV. From that point on we could not drive the ROV properly. Our ROV team decided to bring the system back on deck. And suddenly the line connection between the TMS (a garage for the ROV) and the vehicle itself broke down. We had no possibility to intervene and could just watch the ROV descend to the bottom. Using the communication between the several modems in the system we have seen the ROV descending slowly and making almost perfect loops on the way down. 200 m above the seabed all signals vanished leaving all of us devastated in the lab.

Suddenly the mood on board changed, we have lost a prototype, long years of hard work are gone. All of us will need few days to recover; there was little I could do for my friends and colleagues, apart from looking for solutions and ways forward. Meanwhile we are in our second working area around Cap Blanc, and the routine work is going on.

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