NOAA Research Cruise Days 3-5
I’ve been busy learning many new things on board the Okeanos Explorer, and over the last few days I have been further integrated into the ROV team. They have taught me a few different positions, and in the last day or two, I’ve been working those jobs instead of just observing.
I first learned how to operate the winch that feeds out all of the cable that connects the submersibles to the ship and transmits all of the power and data. There are 8km of cable wound up on the storage winch, and it feeds out through the block-and-tackle-like traction winch. My job is to transfer control to the deck crew to get the vehicles in the water, and then to the pilots so they can control their descent and maneuvers at the bottom.
I also spent some time at ROV Navigator. My job there is to coordinate movements of the ship with both the pilots and the science team, so that the submersibles are able to explore the floor and its ecosystems without putting the vehicles in danger. Today we did a deep dive (over 3000 meters) and recovered the vehicles at night, which looked pretty cool. I’ll be manning the navigator position again tomorrow (Mon. 8/5) from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm EDT. You can tune in on the live feeds, and you might catch me in the control room.