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Seawolf Diving USA ROV Expedition

January 1 2015
You'll Never Know, Until You Go... Educational Outreach and Exploration with OpenROV.

January 1 2015

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Name: Ronald Peters
E-Mail: ron@seawolfdiving.com
Account ID: 774389698


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Tether Management System

In order to operate OpenROV in a variety of locations it is a good idea to have an effective and efficient Tether Management System. This allows the operator to deploy and recover the OpenROV and Tether easily and helps to keep everything neat and organized.

In keeping with our philosophy of designing and building accessories that are affordable, easy to build and made mostly from materials that are readily available to everyone, we have devised this simple Tether Management System.

We have completed Phase 1 of the Tether & Management System project. This consists of threading the twisted pair wire through the center of ¼ inch yellow hollow braid Poly rope, modifying a cord reel with a slip-ring connection, attaching the 100 meter (328 ft.) rope/wire tether to the reel, and attaching/connecting the topside adapter.

We have provided a step-wise description of the process (with pictures) as well as a few tips/hints.

Phase 2 will be to link the Tether Management System to the Computer via WiFi.

To view the System and building process (including photos) please follow this link: bit.ly/1NquC92

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Very clean, thank you for sharing!

Wow, this is a great system. I will absolutely be copying this setup.
Do you feel it's a little bulky for travel or is it pretty mobile?

The system is a little larger than if you were to simply use the twisted pair wires as tether. The larger size is necessary to accommodate the increased diameter of the tether due to the 1/4 inch rope. However, the system is easily carried in a small day pack (as shown in the photo). I carry my computer and OpenROV in one Day Pack and the Tether & Management System in another.

Because Children are naturally curious, and learn best by Exploring their environment. Because OpenROV is easy to operate. Because Kids Love Robots...

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Also, because they are easy to operate. Adults love robots!

As promised, here is the post containing details about our version of an alternative Battery Tube Bracket system:

I was able to fabricate a functional clamp system using sheet HDPE, all thread and some nuts and washers (all available at the local hardware store). Tools: Circular saw, hand saw, drills, bench sander, etc…
I have provided a materials list, basic description of fabrication process and images for those who want to attempt the build.

Note: I make no claims that this is the “only” remedy to the aforementioned issue with the battery tubes. I can only say that my design was developed to address a specific issue and that the materials and fabrication process were developed in order for the average hobbyist, equipped with fairly basic tools & readily available materials to be able to complete fabrication with minimal difficulty.

The file containing build notes and photos can be accessed via the following link: http://bit.ly/1BR2voI

I strongly recommend that the hobbyist study these instructions and photos thoroughly before attempting to build the bracket system. Take the time to understand the system and the fabrication process, and then decide if it is a good fit for your needs.

Thanks for adding your method to the many versions on the OpenROV forums. I often find myself fighting the buckle straps myself and am looking to change out for another battery securing method. I'll give your turn buckles a shot. Is it pretty quick with wing nuts on there to switch out batteries?

Hello Erika... Yes, actually it is very fast. Simply spin off the wing nuts and slide the retainer bar off. The rest of the process is the same as before, by popping out the end caps, sliding out the old batteries, sliding in the new batteries and then replacing the end caps, retainer and spinning on the wing nuts. The whole process can be accomplished in just a few minutes. As the longitudinal all thread is held in place by the battery tube brackets, there is really no fumbling about to put everything back in its proper place. Everything stays pretty much in alignment. This system was designed with speed and simplicity in mind.

SWD OpenROV Update 3.30.2015

We have been busy with the OpenROV and associated projects over the past two months and we have made some significant progress.

The first associated project is research and experimentation concerning disinfection/decontamination of the OpenROV, tether, and attached accessories. The research is completed and the results are being compiled, reviewed and interpreted. A full report is forthcoming in the next few weeks. In the meantime we can report that indications are as follows: It appears that the use of the recommended 0.5% (5000ppm) solution of bleach (sodium hypochlorite) may be safely used on OpenROV with a few exceptions and as long as recommended procedures are followed carefully.

The second project was to make modifications to the battery tubes that would ensure the end caps will not pop open except under extreme circumstances. A prototype has been build and is being employed successfully on our unit. This battery tube bracket system can be manufactured by the hobbyist and using commonly available materials and hand/bench tools. Similar bracket systems can be made by 3D printing as described in the OpenROV forum post http://bit.ly/1Dmj8yJ I will post the bracket template, material list and simple instructions within the next few weeks for those who want to try it out.

We have had some success at collecting up the necessary parts and pieces needed to build a good tether management system. We have (on the way) 1000ft of yellow ¼ inch hollow braid poly rope and a Slip Ring connector. We still need a few items in order to go ahead with the build. They are as follows:

• Cord reel – this one would work quite nicely - amazon.com/Woods-22849-Metal-Stand-100-Feet/dp/B0064R6D18/ref=lp4953061_9?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1427749859&sr=1-9
• Nano-size Router for wireless connection between the laptop and the tether management system. The TP-Link TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Travel Router would be ideal but similar router may also work as well.
• Portable power pack to power Nano-router. EasyACC has a high capacity, compact unit that would work well but similar units may also work. Ideally we would have two power packs so that we could be using one while having a second one charged and ready in case it is needed.

Note: Any donations of hardware, components are always greatly appreciated. Of the three items listed above, the Cord Reel is the most urgent need. With it, we can integrate the rope and wire tether and store, deploy and manage it.

To find out more about OpenROV visit www.openrov.com. To visit our expedition page visit openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation . To join and participate in our SWD OpenROV discussion group visit facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Thank you
Ron Peters sends

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SWD OpenROV Update 2.25.2015

Bathtub tests are completed successfully with good results see attached video). The water tight integrity of the unit is good (so far) and all control functions appear to be working, both via keyboard input and with the Logitech F310 gamepad controller.

We have also downloaded and incorporated the “Screencastify” app for recording the ROV video. We are currently using the Free version which limits us to about 10 minutes per recording. Our plan is to subscribe to the complete app as we learn more about the features and how we will be using it during the operations. So far the app is working well.

We are working on a mod that will ensure the end caps of the battery tubes remain secure and will allow for improved stability of the batteries while they are in the tubes. The need for this mod came about when, during the initial bathtub test, we noticed an electrical discontinuity and ROV shutdown caused when the ROV bumped anything. After troubleshooting the issue we discovered that the root cause was instability in the battery stack. Specifically, when the ROV bumped something, the contact between the batteries was momentarily broken and the current was interrupted. This current interruption caused the ROV to shut down. The temporary fix being employed is to tape the batteries together before inserting them in to the battery tubes. A more permanent fix is in the works.

Almost finished with the research on disinfection/decontamination procedures for the OpenROV. As stated before, a decon/disinfection procedure may be necessary, depending upon the location and conditions of operations. The goal is to prevent inadvertent transport/transfer of invasive organisms (and micro-organisms) from one water feature to another and to prevent contamination of public drinking water supplies. Many organizations already have effective procedures instituted. The aim of our research is to determine the effect that the disinfectant chemicals and procedures might have upon the OpenROV unit. A detailed report on the research and results will be posted along with one or more compatible Decon/Disinfection protocol.

We are still attempting to collect the necessary materials for construction of the final version of the tether and tether management system. We have a “Wish List” posted on Amazon.com that shows examples of the materials needed. However, in case potential contributors are not able to visit the Amazon website, the following list is provided:

Reel - Ideally a light hose reel or extension cord reel would work best. An example would be the Alert Stamping 7000WR Pro-Reel Cord Carrier

Slip- ring conductor with a minimum of 4 wires contacts (most come with 8 to 12 contacts). Needed to provide electrical contact in the tether while spooling.

¼ inch Hollow braid Poly-rope of at least 400 feet. Used to give buoyancy to the twisted pair wire tether and to provide a robust retrieval line in case of ROV failure while deployed.

Nano-size Router for wireless connection between the laptop and the tether management system. The TP-Link TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Travel Router would be ideal but similar router may also work as well.

Portable power pack to power Nano-router. EasyACC has a high capacity, compact unit that would work well but similar units may also work. Ideally we would have two power packs so that we could be using one while having a second one charged and ready in case it is needed.

Any donations of hardware, components, etc… would be greatly appreciated.
Please see our “Wish List” on the Amazon website. Simply visit www.amazon.com and select "find a wish list or registry" under the Wish List tab, then type in my e-mail address (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to do the search, then our wish list should pop up. The wish list changes from time to time as we acquire the desired items and as we discover additional items that are needed, so please do check back from time to time.

If you see an item on the wish list but do not wish to use amazon as a source, please contact me directly (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to make arrangements. If you have a similar item that is used but in working order, that you wish to donate, that would also be wonderful.

Remember, everyone is welcome to participate in our OpenROV Expedition project. You need not be a scientist or engineer. You simply need to have an interest in what we are doing. All are welcome…

To find out more about OpenROV visit www.openrov.com. To visit our expedition page visit openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation . To join and participate in our SWD OpenROV discussion group visit facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Thank you

Ron Peters sends

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SO many great ideas. @andrewthaler @afreitag33 it will be great to compare notes on protecting against marine invasive species transmission with OpenROV.

Hi Erika. Yes, it's something that we don't usually think about when we are operating in the "great big ocean." However, in the inland waters there has been a concern about this for many years. As a diver, I have always been careful to do a good thorough clean-out and disinfection of my dive gear between different dive sites. In fact some sites require this. This issue reemerged as I began to seek permission to operate in the local State Parks and Game lands as well as the reservoir. The State DCNR was very helpful as they discussed their concerns and what protocol are currently being used. They are wealth of information and great for networking. DCNR and the Water Authority are very concerned about preventing the spread of invasive organisms, and rightfully so. I encourage everyone who operates/explores in aquatic areas to at least consider this issue, as a matter of "Best Practice" and precautionary principle.

SWD OpenROV Update 2/13/2015

Here's a video that reflects the current status of the project.

Please see our “Wish List” on the Amazon website. Simply visit www.amazon.com and select "find a wish list or registry" under the Wish List tab, then type in my e-mail address (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to do the search, then our wish list should pop up. The wish list changes from time to time as we acquire the desired items and as we discover additional items that are needed, so please do check back from time to time.

If you see an item on the wish list but do not wish to use amazon as a source, please contact me directly (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to make arrangements. If you have a similar item that is used but in working order, that you wish to donate, that would also be wonderful.

Remember, everyone is welcome to participate in our OpenROV Expedition project. You need not be a scientist or engineer. You simply need to have an interest in what we are doing. All are welcome…

To find out more about OpenROV visit www.openrov.com.

To visit our expedition page visit openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation .

To join and participate in our SWD OpenROV discussion group visit facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Thanks

Ron Peters sends

Oh, meant to mention too that there is now a feature at the top of your page to put up a "featured video" it can be changed out. So if you would like to put this bathtub test up there, it will be at the top of the expedition page until you change it out for the next video. Everyone loves video! And bathtub tests are so universal.

SWD OpenROV Update 2/8/2015
Construction on the OpenROV unit is complete and testing has now begun. First up is a 24 hour “bubble test” sans electronics, in order to test water-tight integrity. Shortly after this very fundamental and necessary of evaluations we will begin conducting “bath tub” tests, then graduate to “swimming pool” tests, and finally open-water sea trials… Please note that this entire expedition is being conducted in a very methodical and gradual manner.

I’m currently working on setting up the tether system for the OpenROV. I’ve decided to install waterproof quick disconnects to the tether and ROV system, rather than going with the hard-wired configuration (as presented in the assembly instructions). This is being done in order to provide a little more flexibility in configuration, operations and management of the system (as a whole).

I am using the LEDJump® Male/Female Plug 2 Pin LED Waterproof Connector for the initial attempt at setting up the quick disconnects. These particular connectors were chosen because they are relatively inexpensive, they appear to be fairly sturdy, they are of a solid construction (very little air space), they have o-ring seals and a screw down retaining ring. When making the connection I cleaned and lubed the o-ring with silicone grease (same grade as used on my scuba gear). Initial bench testing indicates that they provide a good, solid connection and remain water-proof when submerged. Of course, the real test will be operating them at depth.

As with all connections on this project, the soldered joints to the tether wire must be made water-proof. In order to accomplish this task I used 3M Marine grade 5200 adhesive sealant under heat shrink tubing.

After all of the connectors are attached, the plan is to attach the twisted pair wire tether to an approximately equal length of ¼ inch hollow braid poly-rope in order to add buoyancy and provide for a more robust retrieval line in case of ROV failure. The wire & rope will be stored and deployed on a reel which will ultimately be connected to the laptop computer via wifi. The wifi mini-router and power pack will be attached to the reel system. This wifi reel/tether system is being employed to afford greater flexibility regarding the positioning of the controlling computer and pilot in relation to the tether deployment/operation site. Of course the building of the reel/wifi system is contingent upon acquiring the necessary hardware.

Any donations of hardware, components, etc… would be greatly appreciated.
Please see our “Wish List” on the Amazon website. Simply visit www.amazon.com and select "find a wish list or registry" under the Wish List tab, then type in my e-mail address (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to do the search, then our wish list should pop up. The wish list changes from time to time as we acquire the desired items and as we discover additional items that are needed, so please do check back from time to time.
If you see an item on the wish list but do not wish to use amazon as a source, please contact me directly (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to make arrangements. If you have a similar item that is used but in working order, that you wish to donate, that would also be wonderful.

Remember, everyone is welcome to participate in our OpenROV Expedition project. You need not be a scientist or engineer. You simply need to have an interest in what we are doing. All are welcome…

To find out more about OpenROV visit www.openrov.com. To visit our expedition page visit openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation . To join and participate in our SWD OpenROV discussion group visit facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Thank you

Ron Peters sends

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SWD OpenROV Update - 02/04/2015

Things are progressing nicely with the build. Most of the assembly is complete. Yesterday we did the initial power-up of the controller board and finished aligning the lasers. Today we will install the IMU/Depth sensor. With any luck, we should be able to get this Bot up and running (at least for bath tub trials) by this weekend. Then it’s on to building the enhanced tether and management system.

Our plan is to make the tether reel connected to the computer via a wireless (wifi) link in order to provide maximum flexibility in operations and to test /prove the technology involved. Attempting to acquire required hardware at this time. Any donations of hardware, components, etc… would be greatly appreciated.
Please see our “Wish List” on the Amazon website. Simply visit www.amazon.com and select "find a wish list or registry" under the Wish List tab, then type in my e-mail address (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to do the search, then our wish list should pop up. The wish list changes from time to time as we acquire the desired items and as we discover additional items that are needed, so please do check back from time to time.

If you see an item on the wish list but do not wish to use amazon as a source, please contact me directly (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to make arrangements. If you have a similar item that is used but in working order, that you wish to donate, that would also be wonderful.

Remember, everyone is welcome to participate in our OpenROV Expedition project. You need not be a scientist or engineer. You simply need to have an interest in what we are doing. All are welcome…

To find out more about OpenROV visit www.openrov.com. To visit our expedition page visit openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation . To join and participate in our SWD OpenROV discussion group visit facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Thank you

Ron Peters sends

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Update 1/28/2015

Progress continues:

With the arrival of the replacement/spare motor set from OpenROV the build process resumes. Today we installed the replacement vertical thruster motor and potted the electronics tube end caps and battery tube end caps with Loctite 3200psi epoxy.

While waiting for motor replacements, we were able to continue with assembly of the Electronics chassis and camera/light panel chassis, complete the main wiring harness and finish up a few other odds-n-ends. Thanks to the great folks at OpenROV, the waiting time was short.

Coordination continues with various property owners, PA DCNR, etc… in order to gain permission for ROV operations in their ponds, lakes and quarries. We continue to conduct outreach to local Scout Troops, civic groups and possibly school groups in order to set up presentations on Diving, Underwater Exploration and OpenROV programs.

Our next build will be a tether management system. Our desire is to make the tether reel connected to the computer via a wireless (wifi) link in order to provide maximum flexibility in operations and to test /prove the technology involved. Attempting to acquire required hardware at this time. Any donations of hardware, components, etc would be greatly appreciated.

Please see our “Wish List” at www.amazon.com and select "find a wish list or regestry" under the Wish List tab, then type in my e-mail address (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to do the search, then our wish list should pop up. The wish list changes from time to time as we acquire the desired items and as we discover additional items that are needed, so please do check back from time to time.

If you see an item on the wish list but do not wish to use amazon as a source, please contact me directly (ron@seawolfdiving.com) to make arrangements. If you have a similar item that is used but in working order, that you wish to donate, that would also be wonderful.

As always, everyone is welcome to participate in our OpenROV Expedition project. You need not be a scientist or engineer. You simply need to have an interest in what we are doing. All are welcome…

To find out more about OpenROV visit www.openrov.com. To visit our expedition page visit openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation . To join and participate in our SWD OpenROV discussion group visit facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Thank you

Ron Peters sends

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Great work! Do you have a place picked out to launch it for the first time?

Looks like "pool" trials will be at the local fitness club pool. Beyond that, the first openwater trials will be at either a local flooded quarry or at a pond located on State Game lands. I want to make the first dives shallow and avoid entanglement hazards...

Good Call. I'll spread the word about your wishlist. Great idea!

Great idea with the wish list, however the link sends me to my own logged in wish list on amazon. Can you double check that link?

Yes, the wish list did the same for me. I'm not sure if your wish list is available for public viewing.

Hmmmm... Ok, I checked. Not sure how to make it available with a quick link. It's set to public. I think if you go to amazon.com and go to "find wishlist" then type in my e-mail (ron@seawolfdiving.com) it should take you to the wishlist. If y'all know of a way to make it direct link, please let me know. In the mean time I'll modify the post to reflect using my e-mail address. Thanks

Mission update 1/23/2015

Expedition is still underway. We’ve been doing a lot of background work in terms of researching possible mission/operations sites, making contacts, and gaining permissions to operate the OpenROV in the various locations. As you can see by the attached photo, we are currently working on the big plate of spaghetti (main wiring harness) and other than some minor issues with the thruster motor modification, all goes well.

We have acquired a Cool-@Cam “Sport Cam” to help video document the surface operations. But we are still in need of a few items. Please see our Amazon “wish list” (amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist?ie=UTF8&ref=navyouraccount_wl&) and consider contributing any of the listed items to our expedition.

We have decided to make the tether detachable with a submersible link in order to facilitate maintenance/repair and enable the addition of various length tethers in the future. We are also going to experiment with a way to couple a 1/4inch poly hollow braid rope with the twisted pair tether wires. This will add some buoyancy to the tether and hopefully alleviate some snag issues. This will also afford a more robust connection between the ROV and the shore, for retrieval of a malfunctioning ROV. Any suggestions as to which submersible wire connectors we should use would be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that we are connecting 26AWG twisted wire. Connectors should be inexpensive and waterproof to a minimum of 1200 meters (or modifiable to these standards).

During the thruster modification process of the build phase we discovered the delicate nature of the wire leads coming from the motor windings by accidently destroying one of the motors. We have ordered three new motors (one to replace the broken one and two spares). Give the delicate nature of these motors and the hostile environments in which we will be operating in we have decided that it would be a good idea to have a few spare motors on hand.

Experiments are still ongoing regarding the best disinfectant to use for ROV decontamination, as mentioned in previous update.

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Update: 1/07/2015

The build continues and soon I’ll be posting pictures of the progress. Also included will be (hopefully) a 3D rendition of the major stages of constructions as well as 3D of the finished unit.

We have acquired a digital video (sport cam) to support the topside video documentation of activities as well as a lightweight tripod for the camera.

Meanwhile, planning continues on several missions to operate in fresh water environments. Two of the freshwater features that I am investigating, as possible mission sites, are located within the boundaries of our state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR); therefore I am researching the required permissions, restrictions, etc… for operating in these waters.

During my exchanges with the PA DCNR District authority I have learned about some important concerns when operating in regional freshwater ponds & lakes. Coincidentally, as a diver, I have the same concerns when diving in these environments. Two major concerns are transfer/transport of pathogens and exotic/invasive organisms (contamination), and perturbation of resident organisms during critical life cycle events (i.e. breading season, etc…).

One way to deal with the contamination issue is to perform a thorough decontamination/disinfection on the equipment pre & post dive. The DCNR representative has provided me with procedural outlines at the following links:

northeastparc.org

And

paherpsurvey.org/doc/Decontamination_Protocols.pdf

As it is recommended that the OpenROV be thoroughly washed with fresh water after every use, I see no problem with including little more effort as routine for standard operating procedures. The only issue I can foresee with the recommended disinfecting procedures would be the effect that harsh disinfectant chemicals might have on the acrylic (in terms of discoloration) possibly making the body tube cloudy. This is an issue that I will investigate via experimentation. If anyone has any experience with this issue, your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

As our intention is to investigate exploration of natural aquatic areas in a proper manner, it is important that we do this in a way that has minimal impact on the local biota that inhabits the operational site. This being said, I believe the best way to address the issue of avoiding or minimizing perturbation of local inhabitants is to plan operations for periods of time outside of “critical” lifecycle event timelines (wherever possible).

A big “Thank You” to Roy Brubaker | District Forester, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, Forest District 1, for all of your assistance.
As always folks your feedback, suggestions, participation, etc… are always most welcome and greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Ron Peters sends

Glad to hear that the build is coming along. Thanks for posting about transfer/transport of pathogens and exotic/invasive organisms. In caving we do a decontamination to avoid carrying organisms from one cave to another. I never had thought of doing the same when moving from one boy of water to another.

That is fantastic info. @andrewthaler of the "Forever Expedition" and "ROV2PNG Expedition" was talking about putting out a paper on the best practices for OpenROVs which travel heavily. I always dive mine in the local pool before dunking it in any natural body of water, to let the chlorine do it's magic on any stragglers from the last dive.

Preparation Stage

SWD OpenROV Expedition Update for 12/1/2014

I’m happy to announce that we will finally start the “Build” phase of the expedition today (one month ahead of our original projected start date). In this phase we will construct the OpenROV v2.6. This phase will explore the various suggested methods of construction and modification, as well as experiment with some new construction/modification ideas.

We have completed our move from Central Florida to South Central Pennsylvania and despite the initial shock of going for a warm & sunny climate to a cold & snowy one, we are adjusting. We still have some unpacking to do but we have completed setting up the various work areas (Electronics/Structural) & ( video/Programming/Design) necessary for construction on the OpenROV to begin. We basically have two primary work benches with availability of additional equipment (mini-drill press, sanders, routers, etc…) as needed for assembly, modifications, and fabrication.

We will be posting pictures and comments on SWD Open Explorer page
( openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation ) as well as inviting suggestions and discussions on our Face Book discussion page(facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition ) .

Please do join in and remember, although many folks who participate have a background in science and engineering, it is not necessary that you have such a background. What is necessary is that you have a desire to learn, contribute ideas and explore.

Thanks

Ron Peters sends

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Glad the move went well. I like the work space too! I look forward to seeing you get the ROV in the water.

I'm excited to finally get started. This is one of the work areas that I have set up. I tried to add other photos but I guess we're limited to one per post. This is the electronics and light structural area. I also have the Computer work station for design, video & photo processing, programming, etc... It's a 64 bit quad processor with about a 1TB storage (internal) and additional 1TB (external, dual monitors, etc... Not top of the line but it'll do the job. Then I have another bench set up with belt sander, mini-drill press, router, oven, and a variety of other tools for fabrication and assembly. Not the biggest shop around but sufficient for the task at hand (I hope).

Hopefully the build will go well. The way it's going I may have to go out and cut a hole in the ice to do sea trials... Still not accustomed to this cold.

Your shop sounds amazing! A little bit of everything one needs to be an explorer. I'm excited to the see the build! Let me know if I can help at all with getting a video going for you. I'm putting together quick media blurbs for a few explorers and would LOVE to help out in that department if you need assistance.

Mission Update: 11/11/2014

We will be relocating our operations in the very near future. Our new location will be in South Central Pennsylvania, USA.

This relocation will not negatively impact the mission or operations of this expedition. In fact, this move will give us access to better equipped lab and workshop facilities. The region that we are moving to has numerous lakes, rivers and freshwater areas in which we can conduct mission operations. Additionally, we will be located within comfortable driving distance to Coastal areas and easy access to the ocean.

The current scheduled move date will be the weekend of 15 & 16 November. We will likely resume operations and begin posting updates on the “Build” phase of the expedition very soon after this date.

Again, if anyone is interested in participating in the discussion board about various expedition topics please visit facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition.
If anyone wishes to become more involved in the expedition or learn more about what we are trying to accomplish, or perhaps contribute to the expedition, they are encouraged to visit and follow our SWD OpenROV Expedition on the Open Explorer website: openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation

Remember folks, this is Open Source, Open Science, Citizen Science and Exploration, so you do not need to be a PhD or Rocket Scientist to participate. You only need the desire to learn, explore and collaborate.

Thanks to everyone who has joined in and participated so far.

Ron Peters sends

Hey, that puts you a lot closer to my area. Good luck on the move! I look forward to seeing what you discover in the waters of Pennsylvania.

SWD OpenROV Expedition Update 10/31/2014

After conferring with fellow explorer Michael 'Danger' Girard we have decided to attempt to conduct some 3D modeling of objects of interest during various phases of our expedition.
It is easy to see the advantage of having a 3D model which can be manipulated and viewed from various perspectives when planning and conducting shipwreck dives, identifying sunken objects, etc…

Certainly 3D modeling has been used in Marine Archaeology before, but with the use of very expensive ROV/AUV units and elaborate (and equally expensive computer programs). To illustrate, consider the case of the recent & ongoing expedition to investigate the Antikythera shipwreck in Greece (http://bit.ly/10FE3LB).

Our goals are not so grandiose as those who are working the afore mentioned expedition. We wish to explore the use and/or repurposing of existing technology (or design and build new as necessary) on a level that will produce a workable 3D map image for use in the identification and exploration of underwater objects. We wish to come up with the right combination of equipment and technology that will allow the Hobbyist, Citizen Scientist, Scouting Group, School Group, or even Uncle Joe and Aunt Mary to be able to put together and use with the minimum financial investment and without the need of having a PhD.

As I mentioned earlier, I must thank Michael 'Danger' Girard (openexplorer.com/profile/neexplorers) for bringing this idea to the table. I look forward to collaborating with Michael and with everyone else who would like to be involved in this expedition.

Remember folks this is an “Open” project which means that everyone is invited to participate (each according to your abilities) and the results are likewise “Open” and available to everyone.

Thanks again

Ron Peters sends

Glad to help out. There will be some challenges and hurtles to overcome since the technology is made for use in perfect conditions, but I think that what is going to make this experiment fun.

You should definitely follow this expedition and learn about @nswwrecks work:

openexplorer.com/expedition/xxxx91

Thanks, for the tip. I'm following them, and will be checking out their website tonight.

I did some Photogrammetry trials today that came out fantastic. I also found a resource thats been doing wreck mapping using the same tools. I reached out to them for some helpful tips. I'm very optimistic!

First off Thanks David for the comment

Ron / Michael have a look at my take on Structure from Motion (SfM) at the OpenROV community http://crwd.mp/1pflRna and some images of what I have done as it may be of assistance

At this stage, I have not put anything on SfM up on my site nswwrecks.info but it does have my email address so if you need any help/pointers off line you can contact me (do so in the next 2 weeks as after that I'm off to Indonesia to bring a boat back to Australia)

Michael I have been meaning to contact you about passing on details about Mark Munro from www.soundunderwatersurvey.com who is from around your area and has been looking for wrecks (with Sidescan) for a number of years so your project may be able to tie in with some of the stuff he is doing

Scott

Scott, the Structure from Motion (SFM) look exactly like what I was thinking of! I've had great results with still shots, but wasn't sure how well it would work with video footage from my GoPro. I'll be spending the next week going over the details. I'll be sure to email you if any issues or question come up.

I'll see if I can contact Mark Mounro. I would be interesting to have someone local to connect with. I'm sure he'll be a great resource.

Thanks for the information and offering your knowledge and experience Scott. The HF Payton project I'm working on up here will greatly benefit from Photogrammetry. It will also be a great tool to add to cave surveying!

Hi Michael
I've tried a bit of SfM using video from the GoPro but only to get really really poor results (if any) I think it is mainly because you tend to shoot video looking "across the wreck" whist for the best SfM results comes from "looking down onto the wreck"

Although I do know that the some details SfM of a wreck sketchfab.com/shamus/models were done with video

I know the wet mules http://crwd.mp/10Je8m8 have tried a few different techniques in the cave surveying (including SfM) but have gone back to the radiolocation
Scott

Hi Scott,
I read your post about SFM on OpenRov and the comments and it was helpful. I was reminded about how my Hero can do timelapse photos. I'm so use to using my regular camera for photos and the Gorpo just for video. I also though of the shots looking forward, instead of just looking down. I still might try two GoPros an get both,

How deep can you get before there isn't enough light? What quality/distance of visibility is needed for a good shoot? In Narragansett Bay the quality is usually poor in some parts.

The caves I'd be doing right now are on dry land. My friends are diggers and they have found many new caves over the past years. Most of the passages aren't very large, but open up into several beautiful chambers. The surveying is currently done with surveying tape, Suunto Compass/Clinometer, pencil, pad and people. I don't think Photogrammetry will replace them right now but will add a nice detail to the work.

Thanks,
~Michael

I have a GoPro Hero 3 Black. I'm thinking about adding a second GoPro. I think I might try setting one to shoot laterally and another pointed doen at about 60 deg or so. Then use the two different perspectives to build the 3D model. One think I would like to figure out is how to trigger the cameras on and off from the surface.

Hi Michael
I've used my old (now lost) Hero 3 (now replaced with a Hero4 silver with old Hero 3 housing) down to 75m in pretty clear water (say 12m vis) with no lights and got OK images albeit dark the worst where it has worked was on a 9m lighter in about 11m of water but about 1.5m of visibility with the camera 800mm above the bottom sort of poor results but still results http://crwd.mp/1uf5Sqw.

In OK water (say 10m vis) I tend to shoot looking straight down say 2m above the bottom with a shot if swimming every second if on a scooter 2 shots/second for the ROV I will be shooting at 2 shots/second. The biggest issue is making sure you get enough over coverage (more is better)

I need to start experimenting with lights (I have a 10,000lm 150 deg torch and I will use that) to see if it produces images with better colours, but at this stage I'm happy that the images are "describing" the wreck but may not be "pretty"

Hi Sea wolf diving
I would just start the camera on the surface with a 32GB card and at a pretty good guess you will run out of GoPro battery before the data card is full and then trash out the images you don't need

I would most likely position one camera looking straight down and the other down maybe 15-20 degrees down (remember the GoPro on wide has a FOV of 120 degrees by 90 degrees and you don't want most of the view just being water column) and this should give some coverage between thepair

Thanks Scott! While we build the OpenROV, I'll use the time to experiment with the Hero 3 and Photogrammetry. I'll use your tips and see what kind of results I can get. My only concern right now is the fisheye effect of the lens. My tests of places on dry land have been getting a bit stretched, but I hope that more distance from the camera and being underwater will minimize the effect.

Thanks again for all you help!
~Michael

Update on SWD OpenROV Expedition. 10/29/2014

Things are progressing nicely in the Preparation phase of the Expedition. Thus far we have determined what the initial goals and missions of our expedition should be. There is more work and more discussion necessary in order to fine tune the whole plan. If anyone wants to participate in the discussions they may do so by visiting (and joining) our Face Book SWD OpenROV Discussion Group at facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition We’ve made a good start and we now have a good sense of direction.

Equipment wise we have received the OpenROV v2.6 serial # 1503 (thanks to the generosity of a sponsorship from the Moore Foundation & the Great Folks at OpenROV), as well as the six LiFePO4 rechargeable batteries and three TrustFire Multifunctional Chargers. Additionally, we have acquired a Logitech Gamepad F310 to be used for controlling the ROV, a 10MP still digital camera (slightly used but in functional condition) for documenting the “build” process of the OpenROV as well as the design and build of planned accessories.

We have also pulled together the tools and incidental construction materials necessary. There are still a few items remaining that we will need either to do complete video documentation or for construction of planned “enhancements” to the system. These are listed below and can also be found on our Amazon.com Wish List. amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/ref=navyouraccountwl?ie=UTF8&requiresSignIn=1
Items wanted:
A digital video recorder (new or used) does not need to be anything fancy. Used to document build, test, and operational activities to post on line for the OpenExplorer/OpenROV community
300ft to 600ft cat-6 cable (2-pair or 4 pair) any color – for tether upgrade
300ft to 600ft of Yellow Polypropylene Hollow Braid Floatable Rope – for tether upgrade
The items listed above are also listed on the Amazon wish list. These items may be provided through the Amazon wish list or by any other source. Additionally, if anyone wishes to sponsor our project financially they can make donations by visiting our Expedition Page on the Open Explorer website ( openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation ) and clicking the “Contribute” button.

We are currently ahead of our initial projected start date (1 Jan 2015) and should begin the Build phase before the end of November, if all continues to progress as it has been so far.

Thank you all so much for your support, interest and participation in this project. Remember that this is open source, open science, open exploration which means that anyone with an interest can participate by sponsorship, assistance in design and build, operations, etc… and by financial contributions, sharing ideas, technical expertise, sharing experience, or whatever… You do NOT have to be a PhD or some rocket scientist to participate. You just need a sincere interest and a willingness to get involved. The whole process, including the test data, video, documentation, etc… is completely open to everyone.

Thanks

Ron Peters

image-1

Ron, great to see things moving along. We too will soon be building our ROV. We'd be happy to help you in anyway we can. We can connect on your FB discussion group.

Great. I got your add request on FB and added you to the discussion group. Feel free to read through the previous posts and comment in the comments section. If you have any additional ideas or topics, please feel free to post them. Where are you located?

We're located in Rhode Island, the ocean state! We're the state that increases by 5% every low tide.

Update on SWD OpenROV Expedition. 10/29/2014

Things are progressing nicely in the Preparation phase of the Expedition. Thus far we have determined what the initial goals and missions of our expedition should be. There is more work and more discussion necessary in order to fine tune the whole plan. If anyone wants to participate in the discussions they may do so by visiting (and joining) our Face Book SWD OpenROV Discussion Group at facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition We’ve made a good start and we now have a good sense of direction.

Equipment wise we have received the OpenROV v2.6 serial # 1503 (thanks to the generosity of a sponsorship from the Moore Foundation & the Great Folks at OpenROV), as well as the six LiFePO4 rechargeable batteries and three TrustFire Multifunctional Chargers. Additionally, we have acquired a Logitech Gamepad F310 to be used for controlling the ROV, a 10MP still digital camera (slightly used but in functional condition) for documenting the “build” process of the OpenROV as well as the design and build of planned accessories.

We have also pulled together the tools and incidental construction materials necessary. There are still a few items remaining that we will need either to do complete video documentation or for construction of planned “enhancements” to the system. These are listed below and can also be found on our Amazon.com Wish List. amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/ref=navyouraccountwl?ie=UTF8&requiresSignIn=1
Items wanted:
A digital video recorder (new or used) does not need to be anything fancy. Used to document build, test, and operational activities to post on line for the OpenExplorer/OpenROV community
300ft to 600ft cat-6 cable (2-pair or 4 pair) any color – for tether upgrade
300ft to 600ft of Yellow Polypropylene Hollow Braid Floatable Rope – for tether upgrade
The items listed above are also listed on the Amazon wish list. These items may be provided through the Amazon wish list or by any other source. Additionally, if anyone wishes to sponsor our project financially they can make donations by visiting our Expedition Page on the Open Explorer website ( openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation ) and clicking the “Contribute” button.

We are currently ahead of our initial projected start date (1 Jan 2015) and should begin the Build phase before the end of November, if all continues to progress as it has been so far.

Thank you all so much for your support, interest and participation in this project. Remember that this is open source, open science, open exploration which means that anyone with an interest can participate by sponsorship, assistance in design and build, operations, etc… and by financial contributions, sharing ideas, technical expertise, sharing experience, or whatever… You do NOT have to be a PhD or some rocket scientist to participate. You just need a sincere interest and a willingness to get involved. The whole process, including the test data, video, documentation, etc… is completely open to everyone.

Thanks

Ron Peters

image-1

A quick update: Today we received the TrustFire battery chargers for LiFePO4 rechargeable batteries. So we check this item off from our list.

Still looking for a few things. Please see our Amazon wish list at amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/ref=navyouraccountwl?ie=UTF8&requiresSignIn=1

Thanks again

Ron Peters sends

image-1

Quick Update: A Logitech Gamepad F310 has been acquired for the project. I hope we can make it work... Thanks :) :) :) Has anyone tried using this as a controller for your OpenROV yet?

image-1

This controller works well for controlling the ROV. It is the one that is recommended for use by OpenROV.

SWD Open Explorer Expedition Update 10-15.2014 "Great News":

The pulling together of necessary resources continues. However, today we have made major progress with the arrival of our OpenROV kit (#1503). This kit was provided by the wonderful folks at OpenROV (openrov.com), David Lang, Eric Stackpole and made possible with a Microsponsorship by the Moore Foundation (moore.org).

The process continues. With the addition of this OpenROV kit we move even closer to the next phase of our Expedition which is the build phase. We are still collecting up some necessary odds-n-ends as well as looking for an inexpensive yet functional video recording camera (new or used) for documenting topside operations and various stages of the build phase. Maybe something like this (http://bit.ly/1vHSVCu15?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1413390840&sr=1-5&keywords=video+camera)

And we could also use a USB game controller (new or used) maybe something like this (amazon.com/Logitech-940-000110-Gamepad-F310/dp/B003VAHYQY/ref=sr11?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1413390990&sr=1-1&keywords=game+controller)

Amazon.com wish list...: amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2G4MUE66QDCKO/ref=cmwlhuc_view

Also need battery chargers for LiFePO4 rechargeable batteries as in: http://bit.ly/1rHRHTH

As always, any donations, contributions and other support is always welcome and greatly appreciated. We also welcome collaborators who wish to help out with the various phases of this expedition. You don’t necessarily need to be a “rocket scientist” to collaborate or contribute ideas and lend expertise. You really just need to have an interest in what we are doing. Remember, this is Open source, Open access, Open science so the process and results will remain open to everyone and is being presented for the use of everyone…

Follow along, or get involved in our Expedition progress, as well as the many adventures of other explorers at Open Explorer (openexplorer.com/home).

image-1

Pulling it together

Now that we have determined the areas of operations that we want to focus on for our OpenROV Expedition, it is time to start working on pulling together the resources that we will need to accomplish the various missions that have been proposed. Although this expedition is intended to be primarily self-funded we do accept and appreciate donations of time, equipment, expertise, advice, etc… from time to time.

First things first, I suppose, we will need an open ROV kit. We’re working on this one…
Next we will need the tools to assemble the basic kit and to do any modifications as well as construction of accessories, etc… We have a nearly complete work bench with most of the necessary tools available, with the possible exception of some unforeseen specialty tools.

We will also need a way to document everything. We currently have available a GoPro Hero 3 Black for video of all underwater activity. We are looking for a digital Camera to use on the surface for video and stills. We may have a line on a 10 MP stills digital camera but we are still lacking a digital video camera. We don’t need anything super fancy or expensive. Something on the lines of this would do nicely: http://bit.ly/1vHSVCu1sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412617367&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=video+canmer But even a more basic set up would do as long as it takes decent video.

We will need a laptop computer to use for a control station. We have a Dell Inspiron which we can dedicate entirely to this project.

So this is where we stand, equipment wise. We basically have everything needed to start except the OpenROV kit and some sort of Video/still camera with which to document the construction of the ROV and the “topside” activities of the ROV operations.

We will accept (and greatly appreciate) any donations toward acquiring the necessary equipment for conducting this expedition and accomplishing the goals.

Thanks for all of your interest and support in this expedition.

Hey Ron,
You can add a "Contribution" Button to your expedition to accept financial support.

Thanks Dave. It's all set...

Telepresence/Telerobotics

The purpose of this mission is to explore the use of the OpenROV in the “telepresence/telerobotics” role.

As a digitally controlled robot, it should be possible to control the operations of the OpenROV remotely via internet connection. This ability may be advantageous in both virtual classroom and remote research applications.

For the purposes of this mission, initially we will begin with development and testing of technology and procedures in a confined water environment. Ultimately we will attempt to arrange a remote online session with a classroom, dive shop or other group and arrange to have them pilot the OpenROV remotely during submerged operations.

Since the goal is to be able to conduct operations in semi-remote locations we will focus on wireless (wifi) and possibly WinLink (ham radio) digital internet connections.

Fish Collection mission

A thorough scientific exploration and evaluation of the Underwater Environment includes detailed analysis of the biota that is present.

Often it will be necessary to collect live organisms from the water column and retrieve them (intact) for laboratory analysis.

Although samples of sessile organisms might be collected by use of a scoop or remote arm with grasper, free swimming and more mobile organisms will need to be collected by other means.

A common method for collecting small fish and other free swimming organisms is the use of a “Slurp (suction) gun.” The purpose of this mission is to develop and employ a modified, remotely controlled suction device, or slurp gun, to collect free swimming biota samples.
Due to the size of the small size of the OpenROV unit the sample size will necessarily be limited.

Mission Tasks:
Design, build and employ a suction device for use in collecting free swimming biota samples.
Employ OpenROV and suction device to collect live fish samples

Instruments/Accessories:
OpenROV unit
Instrumentation to determine and record depth, temperature, heading, time, pH, conductivity, etc…)
Suction sample collection device
Necessary sample containers
GPS
Map/Chart of local area (large scale/small area) for operations area
Fish ID guides

Stream and River Operations mission

The purpose of this mission is to determine the “Operational Envelope” of the OpenROV (stock configuration) with regard to water flow rates. Additionally, it may be possible to investigate what adaptations or accessories could be used to augment OpenROV unit operation in high water flow/current environments.

OpenROV is considered a mini/micro ROV unit with relatively low thruster power. This power limitation will necessarily present a condition of limited maneuverability of the ROV unit in high flow/high current environments such as riverine and stream areas. The challenge of maneuvering in high flow/current environments may not necessarily exclude operation in Streams and rivers.

The following information is a preliminary description of a mission using the OpenROV. The list contains possible mission tasks and the instruments/accessories that would be required. The discussion is still open and all suggestions are welcome. facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Mission Tasks:
Employ the OpenROV unit (stock configuration) in high water flow rate environments (streams & rivers) in order to determine the operational envelope in these environments.
Determine possible adaptations and accessories that would enhance operations of the OpenROV unite in high flow rate environments.

Instruments/Accessories:
Open ROV unit
Stream or River (high flow rate) environment
Flow meter or reliable means of determining water flow rate

Would be also interesting to try OpenROV in other conifgurations in this environment. I.e towing.

Thanks for the idea David. Yes, we could experiment with using the OpenROV as a towed vehicle or even on an anchored tether.

SWD Open Expedition Summary for week 5 (9/14/2014)

The Sixth & Seventh mission discussion details (Ambient Water Sampling and Lake, Pond & Spring Survey) have been posted at: openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation

We have gained 4 “new” followers this week at the OpenExplorer website Expedition page (giving us a total of 16 followers). Please pass the word about our project. Each new follower puts us closer to winning the OpenROV award. More importantly, it represents one more person who has taken an interest in investigating the use of OpenROV in a variety of Underwater Exploration roles. It also means that there is one more person who can provide valuable input to our project and contribute to the ever expanding knowledge base being made available to “Everyone.”

Up next for discussion will be “Stream & River” operations mission proposal. Please also remember to join our Face Book Expedition discussion group and join in the discussions. facebook.com/groups/288568361344130

Please remember that the commencement of the Construction and Operational phases of this Expedition is entirely contingent upon acquiring the necessary hardware (OpenROV kit). Our hope is to generate enough interest (and gain enough “followers”) to be awarded one of five ROV kits per the current OpenROV initiative as outlined at this link: http://bit.ly/1pcW08b So please, please, please visit the Open Explorer website, create a log-in account, visit the Seawolf Diving USA Expedition page and remember to click the “follow” button.

As stated in the original Expedition Background statement, Educational Outreach is a major part of this proposed project. If you have a group (Home School, K thru 12, Scout group, Dive Club, etc …) who you think might benefit from participating in this Expedition experience, please pass this information to them. Remember, it’s FREE and it’s open to EVERYONE…. 

Thank you all for showing an interest in (and supporting) this project. And remember “Share it. Pass it along…”

Ron Peters sends

Lake, Pond & Spring Survey mission description

This particular mission will be to investigate how the mini/micro ROV (OpenROV) units can be used in the fields of Aquatic Ecology, Hydrobiology or Limnology (relating to inland surface water areas).

We will investigate how the OpenROV may be used to collect information about inland surface water areas (i.e. biota identification and population counts, water plant survey, water quality survey, fish habitat survey, etc…).

Additionally, information about bottom composition, sedimentation, subsurface (groundwater) infiltration, erosion, bank or impoundment stability, etc…

Although rivers and streams are also considered inland surface waters, they present a unique challenge to the use of small, low powered ROV units. Due to this challenge , the discussion of OpenROV units in rivers and streams will be addressed in a separate mission investigation.

Mission discussion is still open and all suggestions are welcome. facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Mission Tasks:
Collect water quality information (Water Depth, Temperature, Thermocline level, Turbidity, Currents, Obstructions/entanglements, Bottom composition, Topography, pH, D.O., etc…)
Locate, identify and survey biota/vegetation
Survey bottom composition and topography
Survey fish habitats (logs, structures, dams, etc…
Survey runoff areas, banks, inflows for erosion and alluvial deposition.

Instruments/Accessories:
OpenROV unit
Live video
Recorded video
Lighting
Navigation instruments (Depth gauge, compass)
Laser Scaler (indexer)
Water Quality Instrument package (pH, D.O., Conductivity, Temperature, etc…)
GPS
Map/Chart of local area (large scale/small area)

Ambient Water Sampling mission description

Any thorough scientific exploration and evaluation of the Underwater Environment includes detailed analysis of Water Quality at various depths and locations of the site being explored.

Discrete Grab samples can be collected and retrieved using a variety of methods and equipment. A multi-sample water sampler onboard the ROV would allow scientists to be highly selective as to the time, depth, location and surroundings of the water sample plan.

The purpose of this particular mission is to investigate how the OpenROV might be equipped with a multi-sample water sampler for the purpose of obtaining multiple grab samples of ambient water. Additionally, design development, fabrication and use of a multi-sample water sampler will be investigated.

Due to the size of the small size of the OpenROV unit the sample size and number of discrete samples will be limited to approximately 250ml volume and between two and four samples.

Sample container composition should be such that will meet requirements for a variety of analytical processes.

Water Sampler will need to be remotely triggered and data indicating the time, place, depth, temperature of the sample will need to be recorded.

Mission Tasks:
To obtain discrete (grab) ambient water samples from the water column for use in laboratory and field analysis of water quality.
To record pertinent sample data at time and place of sample acquisition (time, depth, location, temperature, etc…).
Develop a multi-sampler that can be employed on the OpenROV and that can be triggered remotely. Sample size of approx. 250ml volume and between 2 and four discrete samples.

Instruments/Accessories:
OpenROV unit
Instrumentation to determine and record depth, temperature, heading, time, pH, conductivity, etc…)
Multi-sampler designed to be employed with OpenROV
Necessary sample containers and preservatives
GPS
Map/Chart of local area (large scale/small area) for operations area

SWD Open Expedition Summary for week 4 (9/5/2014)

The Fourth & Fifth mission discussion details (Ducted Propeller (Kort/Speed Nozzle) Attachment and Boat Hull/Floating Dock Visual Inspection) have been posted at: openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation

No “new” followers this week at the OpenExplorer website Expedition page (giving us a total of 12 followers). Please pass the work about our project. Each new follower puts us closer to winning the OpenROV award. More importantly, it represents one more person who has taken an interest in investigating the use of OpenROV in a variety of Underwater Exploration roles. It also means that there is one more person who can provide valuable input to our project and contribute the ever expanding knowledge base being made available to “Everyone.”

Up next for discussion will be “Pond, lake, spring survey” and “Water Sampling” mission proposals. Please also remember to join our Face Book Expedition discussion group and join in the discussions. facebook.com/groups/288568361344130

Please remember that the commencement of the Construction and Operational phases of this Expedition is entirely contingent upon acquiring the necessary hardware (OpenROV kit). Our hope is to generate enough interest (and gain enough “followers”) to be awarded one of five ROV kits per the current OpenROV initiative as outlined at this link: http://bit.ly/1pcW08b So please, please, please visit the Open Explorer website, create a log-in account, visit the Seawolf Diving USA Expedition page and remember to click the “follow” button.

As stated in the original Expedition Background statement, Educational Outreach is a major part of this proposed project. If you have a group (Home School, K thru 12, Scout group, Dive Club, etc …) who you think might benefit from participating in this Expedition experience, please pass this information to them. Remember, it’s FREE and it’s open to EVERYONE…. 

Thank you all for showing an interest in (and supporting) this project. And remember “Share it. Pass it along…”

Ron Peters sends

Boat Hull/Floating Dock Visual Inspection mission description

The purpose of this particular mission is to investigate how the OpenROV and associated instruments/accessories might be used in the expanding role of underwater hull inspection for conducting structural and overall hull condition surveys and for detecting unwanted/unexpected attached devices.

Any structure that floats in water, be it a boat, a barge, a floating dock, etc… will need the occasional inspection or survey to determine structural integrity, accumulation of aquatic/marine organism growth, or general condition. Additionally, hull inspections are becoming a regular part of harbor security for the purposes of detecting potential security threats and contraband which may be attached to the hulls of ships, boats and barges.

During this mission we will investigate the ability of the OpenROV to be used for the aforementioned visual inspections. We will further determine any adaptations to the OpenROV configuration, including use of additional cameras, illumination and possibly IR.
The following information is a preliminary description of a mission using the OpenROV.

The list contains possible mission tasks and the instruments/accessories that would be required. The discussion is still open and all suggestions are welcome. facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Mission Tasks:
Employ the OpenROV in stock configuration during underwater inspection of Boat Hulls and/or floating docks.
Detect and identify unusual or abnormal underwater attachments to boat hulls which might be contraband or hazardous.
Reconfigure OpenROV as necessary, including additional lighting and cameras, in order to accomplish a satisfactory underwater hull inspection.
Add IR camera & illumination to OpenROV and investigate the use of IR for hull inspections.

Instruments/Accessories:
Open ROV unit
Live video
Recorded video
Boat or Dock area
Additional Video Camera
Additional Lighting
IR camera and IR illumination

Ducted Propeller (Kort/Speed Nozzle) Attachment mission description

The purpose of this mission is to investigate the efficacy of using Ducted Prop (Kort Nozzle) attachments on the main thrusters, and to design and fabricate such attachments.

This mission might be accomplished in several phases. For example: Phase one might be to investigate the engineering and fabrication of the proposed attachments. Phase two might include conducting “tank tests” to determine to what degree the attachments increase thrust of the main thrusters. Phase three might include an open water test to determine the effects of the attachments on power and maneuverability.

Although the current configuration of the Main Thrusters is basically a ducted prop, the duct profile is essentially flat. For this mission we will be applying a nozzle with a particular profile (i.e. Kort nozzle). In boating and shipping industry this technology has been proven to increase thruster performance at low speeds (< 10kts).

This mission will attempt to determine if attaching a shaped nozzle (i.e. Kort or Rice Speed nozzle) exhaust to the existing thruster output will improve thruster efficiency and increase thrust.

If successful, this could potentially expand the environmental conditions in which the OpenROV could be employed. Finished product could lead to availability of after-market upgrade accessory.

The following information is a preliminary description of a mission using the OpenROV. The list contains possible mission tasks and the instruments/accessories that would be required. The discussion is still open and all suggestions are welcome. facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Mission Tasks:
Design, develop and fabricate a Kort/Speed nozzle attachment for the current configuration of OpenROV, which could be easily attached and used.
Test the efficacy of the use of such attached nozzle by tank test thrust measurement.
Open water test of OpenROV to determine effects on power and maneuverability.

Instruments/Accessories:
OpenROV unit
Live video
Recorded video
Design and fabrication tools
Test tank and instruments to measure thrust

I'm very interested in your discussion of using brushless or sealed motors, my motors are in pretty rough shape after a few caribbean dives, even with extensive rinsing. Have you had any further thoughts?

Thanks for the comment Erika. Yes, one of the drawbacks of having a motor with exposed winding is the corrosion of critical motor components. This seems especially true with exposure to salt water. One thing that can be done is the "very thorough" rinsing of the motors with fresh water. Still, corrosion will happen. A way to eliminate this problem would be to use a sealed unit. However, conventional sealed motors employ the use of bearings which degrade over time and which sometimes fail under increased depth and external pressure. One way that has been used in industrial propulsion systems is a sealed magnetically coupled motor and propellor. The sealed unit can be filled with a dielectric liquid to negate compression. The trick is to fabricate such a unit on a scale small enough to work with the OpenROV unit and still maintain cost effectiveness (affordability).

SWD Open Expedition Summary for week 3 (8/29/2014)

The Second & Third mission discussion details (Search/Recovery and Diver Observation, Communication & Safety) have been posted at: openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation

Included is also a list of instruments/accessories that might be needed in order to accomplish the mission objectives for each mission. This is a preliminary look at this particular mission and is open to continuous evaluation and modification.

We have gained one additional follower on the OpenExplorer website Expedition page (giving us a total of 12 followers). Each new follower puts us closer to winning the OpenROV award. More importantly, it represents one more person who has taken an interest in investigating the use of OpenROV in a variety of Underwater Exploration roles. It also means that there is one more person who can provide valuable input to our project and contribute the ever expanding knowledge base being made available to “Everyone.”

Up next for discussion will be “Ducted Propeller (Kort Nozzle) Attachment” mission proposal. Please also remember to join our Face Book Expedition discussion group and join in the discussions. facebook.com/groups/288568361344130

Please remember that the commencement of the Construction and Operational phases of this Expedition is entirely contingent upon acquiring the necessary hardware (OpenROV kit). Our hope is to generate enough interest (and gain enough “followers”) to be awarded one of five ROV kits per the current OpenROV initiative as outlined at this link: http://bit.ly/1pcW08b So please, please, please visit the Open Explorer website, create a log-in account, visit the Seawolf Diving USA Expedition page and remember to click the “follow” button.

As stated in the original Expedition Background statement, Educational Outreach is a major part of this proposed project. If you have a group (Home School, K thru 12, Scout group, Dive Club, etc …) who you think might benefit from participating in this Expedition experience, please pass this information to them. Remember, it’s FREE and it’s open to EVERYONE…. J

Thank you all for showing an interest in (and supporting) this project. And remember “Share it. Pass it along…”
Ron Peters sends

Diver Observation, Communication & Safety mission description

It is incumbent for all dive personnel to take all available measures to reduce the risks inherent to dive operations. These measures may include proper planning, rehearsal of dive procedures & tasks, inspection & maintenance of required equipment, pre-dive survey of dive site, adequate training for all dive team members, diver communication, etc… In some instances diver safety and communications can be enhanced through the use of external observers (via ROV), a practice common in some aspects of commercial diving.

The following information is a preliminary description of a mission using the OpenROV. The list contains possible mission tasks and the instruments/accessories that would be required. The discussion is still open and all suggestions are welcome. facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Mission Tasks:
Visually identify and safely follow divers during diving operations.
Monitor and record environmental conditions in dive operations area (water temperature, depth, thermocline layer, currents, visibility, etc…).
Augment communications between divers and surface team (Diver recall & query response).

Instruments/Accessories:
OpenROV unit
Live video
Recorded video
Lighting
Depth gauge
Compass
Laser Scaler (indexer)
Thermometer with data logger
GPS
Map/Chart of local area (large scale/small area)
Hydrophone
Red/Green light panel (LED)

This is a great idea for safety! I wonder about the proximity of the ROV to the divers in low viz water. Do you think the ROV would be too close to the divers to allow them freedom of movement?

Excellent question erikabergman. The issue of diver entanglement is always a concern. In conditions where the ROV can not maintain safe distance from the divers then the ROV deployment during dive ops would not be recommended. Both the diver and the ROV pilot would have to be constantly aware of proximity. One thing we could investigate would be "safe operating distance."

good call. Yesterday I had the rov in the water with diver and her big UW camera. We just made sure to keep her fingers out of the propellors. A standardized protocol would be helpful for people who want to dive with rovs around. This are great posts. I'm enjoying exploring your links.

Submerged object Location, Tagging & Retrieval (search & recovery) Mission Description

Sometimes there are situations which require the location and retrieval of lost submerged objects. Often divers are called upon to accomplish these tasks. However, there are times when conditions are such that the mission of locating, identifying , tagging and or retrieving lost submerged objects could be accomplished more safely and efficiently by using submerged robotics and detection technologies.

The objective of this mission will be to investigate the use of an OpenROV system along with associated tools & accessories to locate, identify, tag (mark) and/or retrieve a lost submerged object.

The following information is a preliminary description of a mission using the OpenROV. The list contains possible mission tasks and the instruments/accessories that would be required. The discussion is still open and all suggestions are welcome. facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Mission Tasks:
Accurately navigate a submerged area search pattern (grid search)
Locate & Identify lost submerged object
Determine and record search area environmental conditions (Water Depth, Temperature, Thermocline level, Visibility, Currents, Obstructions/entanglements, Bottom composition, Topography)
Attach a marker (strobe, hydrophone, buoy, etc…) to object.
Grasp and retrieve submerged object.

Instruments/Accessories:
OpenROV unit
Live video
Recorded video
Lighting
Depth gauge
Compass
Laser Scaler (indexer)
Thermometer with data logger
GPS
Map/Chart of local area (large scale/small area) for search area
Tag (strobe, marker buoy, etc…)
Manipulator arm/Grasper (remote controlled)
Possibly a magnetometer

Dive site (pre-dive survey) mission description

The first of the listed possible missions is “Dive site (pre-dive survey).” As an avid diver I have occasionally found myself in the position where I felt that a little pre-dive site information would have been helpful in terms of dive planning, safety, site conditions, etc…

The following information is a preliminary description of a mission using the OpenROV. The list contains possible mission objectives and the instruments/accessories that would be required.

The discussion is still open and all suggestions are welcome. facebook.com/groups/swdopenrovexpedition

Mission Objectives:
Water Depth
Water Temperature
Thermocline level
Visibility
Currents
Obstructions/entanglements
Bottom composition
Topography
Marine Life
Targets of interest (location, survey, documentation)
Wreck interior and Cave survey

Instruments/Accessories:
OpenROV unit
Live video
Recorded video
Lighting
Depth gauge
Compass
Laser Scaler (indexer)
Thermometer with data logger
GPS
Map/Chart of local area (large scale/small area)

Possible Mission List (Updated - 8/17/2014)

As described in the Expedition Background statement, much of the Operational Phase of the Expedition will involve investigating the potential use of the OpenROV in various venues. The following is a list of “possible” operational missions that the Expedition might attempt. This list is not “set in stone” but is a list of possibilities. Any suggestions for additional missions will be most welcome.

Please keep in mind that we are in the initial planning stage. As such, we are attempting to stimulate a bit of brainstorming by all participants. It may well turn out that the final list of missions becomes a bit longer. On the other hand, it is also possible that some listed mission ideas will be eliminated due to availability of resources, limitation of technology, etc…

The planning process is important in any project, so it is with this Expedition. We start out with an “Idea.” That idea is then massaged a bit and is refined in to an overall “Goal.” That goal is then dissected in to smaller “Objectives” which, when successfully met, culminate in the accomplishment of the overall Goal. Once the individual Objectives are determined we need to figure out exactly how to meet them, thus we design “Missions” by which we hope to employ the appropriate technology in a structured manner, collect results, evaluate and report on what we have done.

Please review this (short list) of proposed missions and respond with your recommendations for either adding or eliminating a particular mission. Along with your recommendation please include a brief discussion about the reasoning behind your recommendation.

Keep in mind that at this point the discussion should be limited to what missions & why. Further in-depth discussions will be conducted later, once we have a firm mission list, and begin to develop individual mission plans.

Please make all suggestions, recommendations, etc... via the FaceBook discussion group (facebook.com/groups/288568361344130) or the Expedition e-mail (swdopenexpedition@gmail.com)

Thanks. Ron Peters sends

Dive site (pre-dive survey)
Diver Observation and Safety
Boat hull survey
Municipal Water Tank, Large Aquarium & Swimming pool inspection
Pond, lake, spring survey
Submerged object Location, Tagging & Retrieval
Water samples
Sediment samples
Biota samples
Water conditions monitoring (depth, temp, pH, conductivity, D.O., etc..)
Stream & River Survey

A dedicated e-mail account has been set up for the Seawolf Diving USA Open Expedition. This e-mail account has been established to facilitate direct communication with Expedition Leadership.

e-mail account - swdopenexpedition@gmail.com

Educational & Information Resources (Updated - 9/3/2014)

Per our Expedition Mission Statement, the Educational Outreach component of this Expedition is very important. In an effort to provide everyone with the opportunity to build their knowledge base the following listed websites and other references are provided.

It is recommended that all participants become familiar with the design, construction and operation of Underwater Robotics (Observation Class ROV’s in particular) as this will aid in developing a better understanding of the Expedition Goals, Objectives and Technology. A deeper knowledge and understanding will also enable participants to contribute to discussions in a more meaningful way.

This is a short list and recommendations for inclusion of additional resources are always welcome. If anyone wished to see additional resources included on this list, please make the suggestions via the discussion group on FaceBook. facebook.com/groups/288568361344130

Disclaimer: Inclusion of any resource (website, publication, individual, organization, etc…) does not necessarily imply absolute, unconditional endorsement of that listed resource or associated product. All listed resources are provided for information purposes.

OpenROV website - openrov.com

Open Explorer website - openexplorer.com/home

OpenROV youtube channel - youtube.com/channel/UCm-sjVIC9Bg_KCSPVws0Rgw

YouTube – search “ROV” many videos….

MATE ( Marine Advanced Technology Education) - ow.ly/jAQfR
Remotely Operated Vehicle Committee of the Marine Technology Society - ow.ly/jAQcU

Homebuilt ROV’s.com - homebuiltrovs.com

The Roboticist - theroboticist.org

A book list from the Roboticist - theroboticist.org/library/books/rov-design

Marine Advanced Technology Education- ow.ly/jAQNj

Immersion Learning.org - immersionlearning.org/games

A good presentation on Undersea ROV/Diver/AUV etc… positioning systems (pdf)…: ths.org.uk/documents/ths.org.uk/downloads/hydrofest2012(3)acousticpositioning_systems.pdf

Article on ROV Tracking & Navigation (NOAA)…: oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/02quest/logs/may1/may1.html

Acoustic Positioning Systems, A Practical Overview of Current Systems - dynamic-positioning.com/dp1998/svickert.pdf

Oceaneering (ROV services) - oceaneering.com/rovs

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute - mbari.org/dmo/vessels_vehicles/rov.html

Miami Science Museum Introduction to Remotely Operated Vehicles - (ROVs)http://www.marinetech.org/files/marine/files/Curriculum/Other%20Curriculum%20
Resources/RiseNet%20Intro%20to%20ROVs%20Learning%20Card_Final.pdf

Underwater Explorers: Using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to Engage Youth with Underwater Environments - colorado.edu/journals/cye/191/19107UnderwaterExplorers.pdf

Instructables (Underwater ROV) - instructables.com/id/Underwater-ROV

About.com (Remotely Operated Vehicle Design and Function) - http://bit.ly/1uT4VRo

Woods Hole Oceanographic - whoi.edu/ndsfVehicles/Jason

Programming:

Arduino website - arduino.cc

Programming Arduino - http://bit.ly/1oWVwI013?ie=UTF8&qid=1408127301&sr=8-3&keywords=arduino+for+dummies

Arduino For Dummies - amazon.com/Arduino-For-Dummies-John-Nussey/dp/1118446372/ref=sr11?ie=UTF8&qid=1408127370&sr=8-1&keywords=arduino+for+dummies

Water Quality Observation:

Water Quality Concepts, Sampling,analysis -http://bit.ly/1t7ZD5m110?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408296644&sr=1-10&keywords=water+quality+measurement

Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring - amazon.com/Field-Manual-Water-Quality-Monitoring/dp/0757555462

Chemical Oceanography - http://bit.ly/1t7ZD5k13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408297027&sr=1-3&keywords=chemical+oceanography

And since we will be "building" a robot, a few basic Electronics resources:

Instructables Basic Electronics - instructables.com/id/Basic-Electronics

Basic Electronics Tutorials - electronics-tutorials.ws

How to Solder Correctly - youtube.com/watch?v=I_NU2ruzyc4

Basic Soldering - youtube.com/watch?v=vIT4ra6Mo0s

Rice Nozzle info - propellerpages.com/?c=nozzles&f=HowNozzlesWork

Kort Nozzle info - submarineboat.com/kort_nozzles.htm

Human Body Search & Recovery discussion - image5.photobiz.com/1599/20130718134727_162382.pdf

Underwater Magnetometers (WHOI) - whoi.edu/instruments/viewInstrument.do?id=14847

Magnetometers in Underwater Archaeology - http://bit.ly/WbZXTw

Channels of Outreach (communication)

As the main goal of this expedition is Informational and Educational Outreach, it is important that the methods and channels of such outreach be established and made available to the public. In an effort to establish clarity as related to communications of all information regarding this Expedition, the following information is provided:

Seawolf Diving USA ROV Expedition - (openexplorer.com/expedition/rovdesignbuildoperation) is located on the Open Explorer website. This will be the primary location for information concerning the Planning, Operations and Reporting phases of the Expedition. Information will be posted on the associated “Medium” blog site medium.com/@ronpeters

In an effort to achieve the widest possible dissemination of information about the Expedition various Social Network outlets will also be used, as listed below:

Seawolf Diving USA Face Book page (facebook.com/SeawolfDivingUSA?ref=hl)

Seawolf Diving USA Twitter page (twitter.com/SeawolfDiving)

Seawolf Diving USA Google+ page
(https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/112529446099287193703/+Seawolfdivingusaron/posts)

Seawolf Diving USA MySpace page (myspace.com/seawolfdiving)

Seawolf Diving USA Open Expedition e-mail - swdopenexpedition@gmail.com

Note: Every effort will be made to maintain consistency of reporting over all networks. However, restrictions on posting pictures, video, etc… on the various networks will dictate what can be posted where.

Additional communications channels may be added as they might become available and necessary.

Methods – Periodic postings on the Open Explorer website, periodic blog entries on the associated Medium blog site, and duplication of those posts on the various Social Networks will be the primary method of communication for the Expedition to the general public.

A dedicated “discussion group” has been established on Face Book at http://bit.ly/1t06SeL

Posting of videos related to the Expedition will be posted via YouTube with links from the above listed channels (as permitted).

Photos and images should be posted as JPG or BMP file format via the above listed channels.

As this is an “Open Source” project and as transparency is absolutely critical, all communications concerning the Expedition should be conducted via the above listed channels.

Skype is also available for use in conference and educational outreach activities.

Expedition Background

The Goal is to generate interest in Underwater Exploration and Associated Technology. As such, all aspects of this Expedition should be planned and conducted with Educational Outreach in mind." The Expedition Goal will be achieved by conducting necessary activities which highlight the Design, Construction and Operation of an OpenROV and necessary associated equipment. Educational Outreach opportunities shall be offered throughout the entire Expedition process.

Some of the objectives of this expedition involve exploring the Design, Development, Construction and Operation of an Open Source Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) as well as investigating a variety of possible uses for this particular technology.

The Expedition will use methods that are consistent with “Open Source” exploration and development.

The expedition begins with acquisition of the Open ROV unit. All phases of the Expedition will be documented and presented to the public in the form of a combination of media (video, Photo, blog, etc…) and updates will be posted on the website www.seawolfdivingusa.com as well as on the www.openexplorer.com website and various social networks.

Design & Development phase – Consists of planning the Expedition (identification of resources, missions, goals, etc…) and Acquisition of Hardware. Concept design of possible accessories and tools, design of additional programming necessary to accomplish mission goals. Solicitation of associates in a manner which is consistent with “Open Source” philosophy. Planning of individual missions to investigate the variety of possible uses for this technology.

Construction phase – Consists of acquiring and building the actual OpenROV unit and all associated hardware and software necessary in order to meet individual mission objectives and accomplish overall Expedition goal. This phase will be conducted as a collaborative effort by all associates.

Operational phase – Consists of conducting various in-water missions using (and evaluating) the OpenROV and other associated technology as well as any accessories (tools) developed during the earlier phases of the Expedition. Examples of missions being considered may include (but are not limited to) Dive site exploration and survey, Pond and Lake survey, Diver Observation (safety), Boat Hull survey, Small object retrieval, water & sediment sample retrieval, Underwater Habitat Support functions, Large Municipal Water Storage Tank internal inspection, Large Aquarium internal inspection, swimming pool inspection, etc… The list of individual missions will evolve based on input from Associates , site availability, resource availability, etc… All individual missions, hardware, software, etc… may change as required or indicated by the process of continuing evaluation.

Conclusion of Expedition - The Expedition currently has no end date. As the project progresses it is likely that some end or conclusion of Expedition activities will be determined. At the termination of the Expedition all video, images, blogs, data, etc... will remain as Open Source and as such will be available for public use. All hardware will be returned to its respective contributor/owner or retained by Ronald Peters (Seawolf Diving USA) as determined by Expedition management and contributors of said equipment, for continued use in follow-on expeditions or for appropriate disposal.

Definitions
Open source - as a development model promotes a universal access via free license to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.

Associates – individuals and organizations who participate and freely contribute (ideas, knowledge, labor, materials, etc…) in the Design, Development Construction or Operation during the Expedition.

Note: All ideas, technology (software & hardware), techniques, etc… that are developed and employed as a result of the events of the Expedition will remain available to everyone (per the Open Source policy) and, as such may not be claimed as personal or intellectual property of any individual or entity. All contributions (material & equipment, ideas, advice, knowledge, labor, etc…) to the Expedition shall be used solely in the execution of the Expedition process and for accomplishment of Expedition goals.

In summary – In an effort to “engage the public” and offer a potential free Educational resource to everyone, this Expedition is designed to be open and available to everyone. All interested individuals are welcome to contribute (labor, materials, technology, expertise, knowledge, suggestions, advice, etc…). It is the intent that “all phases of the Expedition” will be made available to everyone. All videos, photos, blogs, images, etc… may (and should) be freely shared, especially for the purposes of education, advancement of knowledge, promotion of development and employment of Underwater Exploration and associated Technology.

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I like your focus on limnology! I think people often forget how critical our lakes and streams are to greater ocean health. Do you have a practice dive site in mind?

ROCK ON.

Thanks for the comment. Not sure yet. Initially we'll test in a pool. But most likely will try to dive in one of the local freshwater springs. Still in initial planning stage. Dive sites will depend upon individual mission focus and availability/access to sites.

Wish icould join along with ur rov.

Hi Pete, thanks for your comment. The good thing about Open ROV and Open Explorer is that participation is very "open" as the names suggest. Participation and involvement can come in a variety of ways with such a program. We can use people with very little experience but who have a solid interest just as much as we can use the seasoned professional. The first step is to create an account with Open Explorer and then "follow" my Expedition. I will be updating with reports frequently so be sure to check back on this website regularly. We are in the initial setup phase of the project at this time and we will soon be soliciting input in the form of suggestions, advice and technical expertise from everyone, so stay tuned. I will also be posting everything on all of my various social networks (FB, Twitter, Google+, MySpace, LinkedIn, ScoopIt, etc... We are easy to find. Just look for Seawolf Diving USA.

I would love for the rov to help me with studies of counch, n abalone.