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The Tech

ROV Argus

Argus is an ROV that is tethered via a steel-armored fiber-optic cable directly to the ship. It can be used in two different modes of operation: alone, or with another ROV. Alone, Argus is towed behind the ship as a towsled for broad-area visual and/or sonar surveys.

ROV Argus

In tandem mode, Argus is typically used with ROV Hercules. In this tandem mode, Hercules is connected to Argus via a 30 m fiber-optic tether. We carry out tandem ROV operations for a number of reasons. First, Argus removes the heave of the ship from Hercules so that it can work on the seafloor as a stable platform; second, Argus provides light from variable angles to lessen the backscatter caused by particles in the water; and third, Argus is equipped with a number of cameras so that it can watch over Hercules while it works on the seafloor, giving us an eye-in-the-sky perspective. Because Argus is very heavy and is connected directly to the ship, we must position Argus by moving the ship, and can make heading adjustments using thrusters on the vehicle.

Argus specifications

Weight in Air 4000 lb (1800 kg)
Weight in Seawater 3000 lb (1350 kg)
Dimensions 11 long x 4 wide x 4 tall (3.4m x 1.2m x 1.2m)
Power 2400 VAC, 3 phase, < 7.5 kW
Depth Rating 6,000m (19,686 ft)

Learn more about The Ocean, nationalgeographic.com