HyBIS ROV Positions Ocean Bottom Seismometers

Press Release
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Photo: Hydro-Lek

Hydro-Lek’s HyBIS robotic underwater vehicle was deployed to position Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) and Ocean Bottom Electromagnetic Receivers (OBEM) on the seafloor in the Arctic Ocean. The expedition was conducted by members of the Marine Geology team from Southampton’s National Oceanographic Center (NOC) to collect data from sites of methane gas and seafloor gas vents.

HyBIS, a mnemonic for Hydraulic Benthic Interactive Sampler, is a 6,000m-rated, fully modular, electro-hydraulic platform designed to operate in conjunction with existing deck handling and cable systems.  The vehicle comprises an upper command and power unit with a lower hydraulic and mechanical docking interface. The dock allows a variety of different tooling modules to be interfaced with the command module including a 0.5-cubic-meter hydraulic grab, a five-function manipulator arm and retractable sample tray, a passive winch to recover up to 3-ton bottom landers – and now a module for the precise positioning of OBS and OBEMs on the seafloor.

Traditionally seismometers have been randomly dropped from the side of a ship into the ocean. However modern geophysical studies require instruments to be placed on solid parts of the seabed with a precise position and preferred orientation.

HyBIS met these requirements. Unlike a conventional ROV, HyBIS does not have any flotation – it is suspended directly from the ship by its armored umbilical cable allowing it to carry payloads of up to 750kg. Using its two powerful thrusters, HyBIS can also target and position OBS instruments within a small tight array and to orientate OBEMs to their correct compass alignment.

Like other modules, the OBS deployment module is an open-frame stainless steel chassis which is attached to the command module via our four-point docking release mechanism. The module was specifically designed to deploy OBS and OBEM instruments which have a common footprint and rely on anchor weight to hold them to the seafloor attached to flotation and via an acoustic or timed release system to return them to the surface.

“We first commissioned HyBIS for simple exploratory research but during its past four years service, HyBIS has proven to be an extremely versatile and indispensible discovery, recovery and reconnaissance tool and provides a road map for further discoveries in the world’s deepest darkest oceans,” said Senior NOC Geologist , Dr Bramley Murton.

Indeed HyBIS has played a major role in many scientific achievements including the discovery, filming and sampling of the deepest known hydrothermal vents on the planet and recovery of two different seabed landers containing scientific equipment worth over £300,000. HyBIS is designed to operate using the same deck handling gear and electro-fiber-optic cable systems found on most modern research vessels. This enables significant savings to be made in both time and cost.

German marine research centre, GEOMAR  Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, have also chartered HyBIS using their own OBS/OBEM deployment frame and research vessel off the west coast of Norway. They have subsequently ordered and taken delivery of their own system which will be deployed in April 2013 for a Taiwanese charter.


Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Navy Kicks Off Tours with Industry Program

The Navy kicked off a new program Oct. 5, designed to give high performing officers and Sailors experience at large corporations for approximately one year.

Smith Taken on Rolls-Royce Holdings Board

Rolls-Royce Holdings plc today announces the appointment of Sir Kevin Smith CBE as a Non-Executive Director.  Sir Kevin will join the Board with effect from

USS Porter Hosts Career Day

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) hosted a group of 9th and 10th grade students from the International School of Vlore, Albania

Arctic Operations

Demands for Icebreaker Tours Spiral

Plans to terminate commercial tours to the North Pole on the nuclear-powered icebreakers of the Atomflot company in 2016 have surged the demand for these tours.

Arctic Ice 'Too Thick' for Shipping Route

Sea ice in the Arctic is still too thick for Northwest Passage commercial shipping route in spite of warming temperatures. This is according to new research from York University.

Italy's Eni Arrives Arctic as Shell Departs

As Shell retreats from the Arctic, the Italian oil giant Eni is making final preparations for its own oil exploration venture in the Norwegian Arctic, reports the Guardian.

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1838 sec (5 req/sec)