In a first for India, ROV dives below 5k metres

In a first for India, ROV dives below 5k metres

Vehicle collects manganese nodules from seabed

Developed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) in Chennai, together with the Russians, ROV had reached its maximum depth of 5,256 metres last month in the central Indian Ocean basin. This is a first for any Indian ROV.

For more than two decades, India is running a programme to harness minerals like cobalt, nickel, copper and manganese from the seabed. Having an indigenous remotely operable vehicle that can dive more than 5,000 metres and remain stable for collection is an important step in exploiting the ocean as a source of minerals.

ROV was carried onboard the research vessel “Sagar Nidhi” which started on April 1 in Mangalore .

The first deepwater trial was conducted on April 14 at a depth of 5,290 metres. All systems were tested at 50 metres and 3,000 metres depth before reaching 5,000 metres.

When ROV reached a depth of 5,256 metres, certain electrical problems were noticed but they were rectified after bringing ROV back to the deck.

ROV was redeployed at the same location on April 17. It reached the bottom at a depth of 5,289 metres when video cameras were turned on to take pictures.

Next target
The vehicle was subsequently released from its tether for collecting the nodules found on the seabed. But this is not the end of the road for ROV, as the machine has been designed to reach a depth of 6,000 metres.
India was allotted a 75,000 sq km area in the central Indian Ocean basin by the International Sea Bed Authority of the United Nations for harnessing poly-metallic nodules.
 The total resources are estimated to be about 380 million metric tonnes.
DH News Service