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ROV enhancements

Tiburon Midwater Toolsled upgrade
Project Manager/Lead Scientist: Kim Reisenbichler
Lead Engineer: Ed Mellinger

The Midwater Toolsled was the first in a series of purpose-built toolsleds to be deployed on the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Tiburon. The initial deployments of this toolsled were highly successful and many of the concepts initiated during that development continue to be incorporated into newer sleds. However, there have also been changes to newer toolsleds that should be retrofitted to the Midwater Toolsled in order to optimize compatibility between toolsleds. In addition, after using this toolsled for a number of years, we have identified a number of small improvements that can be made to maximize its capability to support sample collections and quality video observations.

There are two significant changes and additions that we propose to make to the Midwater Toolsled during this one-year project. First, we will upgrade the toolsled electronics by removing the hydraulic control boards from the data concentrator and housing an off-the-shelf replacement board in a separate oil filled housing. This will bring the Midwater Toolsled data concentrator up to the configuration of the newer sleds, thus increasing the compatibility of hardware and software between sleds. This change will also free up valuable data concentrator space for future use. Second we will add the capability to field additional detritus samplers on the vehicle in order to maximize our capability to collect delicate midwater animals. These additional samples can be deployed and operated by using hydraulic functions that are already available on this toolsled.