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Top 5 Ways Marine Researchers are Currently Using Underwater Drones

Brendan Cook   |   February 3, 2017

Marine researchers around the world are utilizing Deep Trekker Underwater Drones (or ROVs) in their marine projects; here are the top 5 applications being used today.

Top Five Scientific Applications Utilizing Deep Trekker Underwater Drones

1. Biodiversity Studies

Examining the variety of species in a given area and how this may be changing is vital information to better understand our waterways. Environment Canada has spent countless hours in the depths of the Great Lakes in North America studying the marine culture and monitoring interactions in the environment. More specifically, scientists have been closely observing the growing population of an invasive species called zebra mussels. With specialized equipment positioned on a lake bottom, researchers easily monitor the biosphere through images via a Deep Trekker ROV. Rapid deployment and long battery life allow a thorough examination and the opportunity to record how zebra mussels affect local biodiversity.

2. Species Monitoring


Many researchers focus their projects on specific species such as sea cucumbers or sturgeon and have used Deep Trekker ROVs to monitor these species in their habitats. Additionally, aquaculture researchers and farm managers go to great lengths to maintain the overall well-being of their livestock. Hundreds of fish farms across the globe utilize Deep Trekker submersible drones to monitor their fish stocks on a daily basis. Deep Trekker’s onboard, sealed batteries minimize the risk of water contamination because no power sources or fuel is required on the surface.

3. Benthic Sampling / Sample Collection

marine-retrieval-VideoSpecies monitoring and biodiversity studies require samples of the water surface and the ocean floor (the benthos) to collect organisms and examine if the environment is changing. In many countries where aquaculture is booming, benthic sampling is heavily regulated to ensure the sites are properly selected. They are monitored through on-going sampling throughout the farm’s life cycle. Using Deep Trekker’s optional grabber arm and our water or sediment sampler, objects, sediment or species can be easily collected for analysis in a safe and cost-effective way.

4. Reef Monitoring / Coral Bleaching

With the ability for quick deployment, Deep Trekker remotely operated vehicles are the perfect tool for research teams to monitor reefs for coral bleaching indicators. The Great Barrier Reef is a prime example. Nearly 50% of this reef has perished due to coral bleaching. Launching a Deep Trekker ROV can provide high definition images to assess reef health and to monitor or diagnose indicators of disease or decline.

5. Seafloor Survey

The ocean is currently being mapped using multibeam echo sounders. These are attached to vessels or Underwater Autonomous Vehicles (UAVs) and give a broad overview of how the ocean floor appears.These surveys look similar to a topographical map.

Once UAVs finish their routes, they are retrieved and the footage is reviewed. Areas of interest are pinpointed and can quickly be inspected by a Deep Trekker ROV. Our aquatic drones can be equipped with positioning systems, high definition cameras and sonars to quickly map and characterize different regions of lakes, rivers and oceans.


What's next for Marine Research

Deep Trekker underwater drones are only scraping the surface of marine research. We are excited to see what may lie ahead in a relationship with you. The Oceanology International North America exhibition will open doors to new partnerships and intriguing new ideas to better the life of our oceans. We are eager to be meet and discuss how Deep Trekker can bring your research and educational concepts to realization.

Whatever your next underwater research project may entail, make sure you get your hands on the ultimate marine research ROV package

In a few weeks, the world will gather in San Diego, California for the Oceanology International North America exhibition. It will bring together water industry professionals, manufacturers, educators, government representatives and will connect them with marine science and ocean technology communities.


Source: Oceanology International North America

Marine science and ocean technology?

That sounds right up Deep Trekker’s alley! Our Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are literally used around the world to conduct a wide variety of submerged inspections and structural and oceanographic assessments.

Deep Trekker’s ROVs monitor the condition of ships’ hulls, commercial and industrial infrastructures, aquaculture facilities and are an essential tool for scientific marine research. That’s why we are excited to announce that Deep Trekker will be exhibiting at the Oceanology International North America exhibition this year.

Visit us at booth E31. Look for our large cylindrical water tank showcasing one of our underwater drones. We’ll be happy to hand over the controls so you can test drive an ROV for yourself. We know you’ll be intrigued and pleased with its agility and ease of operation. We can even discuss how Deep Trekker ROVs are currently being used in the pursuit of science around the globe.


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