Tunnel Inspection Vehicle

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Tight Fit!

historic photo of empty water supply
Historic view of the empty tunnel (water supply) from the 1930's in NY. The same tunnel was surveyed with a REMUS while filled with water in 2004. (NYCDEP)

empty water supply in 1930's
Historic look at the NYC Tunnel's water supply that was surveyed in the 1930s without water. In 2004 REMUS AUV surveyed all 45 miles wet. (NYCDEP)

Related Multimedia


Tunnel Simulation Run
WHOI Video simulating a segment of the 45 mile tunnel inspection run with the WHOI AUV TIV.
» View Video (Media Player) LAN

Related Links

» Tunnel Inspection WHOI Link

» What's that swimming in the water supply
NY Times article

The Water That Got Away

The WHOI Tunnel Inspection Vehicle (TIV) was built in 2004 to inspect a 45 mile section of the Delaware Aqueduct and to, ultimately, find its leaks.  This was the first time that the tunnel was inspected while in use.

What where the challenges?

  • Acoustic Tracking of AUV in tunnel :  What are the acoustic properties of a deep, drilled-in-rock, concrete-lined aqueduct?
  • Optical Imaging:  What is the best camera and light configuration for imaging the walls of the tunnel?
  • Vehicle Navigation:  How do we insure that the AUV will fly in the center of the tunnel and not bounce off the walls?
  • Launch and Recovery of AUV:  How do we launch the AUV through small openings in 1000' deep vertical shafts at both launch sites?


TIV contained 5 high resolution digital cameras and four strobe lights for illumination.  Approximately 186,000 digital still images were taken, each containing telemetry information to indicate the exact position of the image to facilitate finding the location of any leaks.


Vehicle Navigation

  • ADCP beams were used to determine center of the tunnel
  • Ring Laser Gyrocompass provided attitude of vehicle
  • Vehicle naviated with respect to that position


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Last updated October 4, 2007
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