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HROV Nereus

Aloha, Nereus

After four years of design and construction, one of WHOI's new deep-sea exploration vehicles, Nereus, took its first plunge in deeper waters during a test cruise in December 2007 off the Waianae coast of Oahu, Hawaii. Nereus can operate as an autonomous, free-swimming vehicle to fly on pre-programmed missions over wide areas, mapping the seafloor, gathering data on the oceans, and searching for specific research targets. But then engineers can convert it within a few hours into a tethered vehicle connected via a hair-thin, 25-mile long cable, which enables scientists on the surface ship to receive real-time video images and send instant commands to maneuver the vehicle and its mechanical arm for close-up investigations and sample gathering.

(Photo by Robert Elder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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