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HROV Nereus testing in Hawaii.

Stuffing the Suitcase

On the dock at Sand Island in Hawaii, the new hybrid remotely operated vehicle (HROV) Nereus is loaded into its shipping container for travel back to Woods Hole after several days of testing. Underwater vehicles like Nereus and Jason are shipped in pieces in large containers (or "vans") to keep all of the parts and accessories in one place; to keep equipment out of the elements; and to protect them from shipping damage, vandalism, and loss. Once a vehicle arrives at its destination, it takes several days to assemble the equipment and test it. "It is sort of a jigsaw puzzle to get everything to fit into the van," said WHOI research engineer Bob Elder. "The same stuff goes in that came out, but somehow, it never seems to fit as well as it did when it was first loaded." (Photo by Robert Elder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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