SEAMOR Marine ROV for ‘Last Ice Project’ in Canada’s Arctic

Photo: SEAMOR Marine

SEAMOR Marine has been selected as the provider of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to the department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Manitoba.

The vehicle will be deployed to the High Arctic to inspect the area which remains frozen year-round and take part in research and evaluating ways to protect this special ecological region.

The High Arctic is an important area encompassing the northern regions of Canada (Arctic Basin, Baffin Bay and the Pikialasorsuaq, or North Water Polynya) and reaches to western Greenland. This area remains frozen throughout the year, for multiple years, acting as an important refuge for ice-dependent species such as polar bears, beluga and narwhal whales, walrus and seals, as well as the communities in these regions that rely on these species for food, dress and shelter.

With estimates for sea ice decreasing at a rate of 11% per decade in the Arctic due to climate change, it is anticipated that the Arctic could lose its summer ice by 2050 and be largely ice-free by 2070. “The Last Ice Project” is a collaboration between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Parks Canada Agency (PCA) and Indigenous, Northern and International partners (including the World Wildlife Fund-Canada and Pristine Seas – National Geographic Society).

SEAMOR Marine’s Chinook ROV has been selected for this mission. This particular model will be equipped with a handheld pendant controller, and a fiber optic tether multiplexer upgrade. These will help control a wide array of on-board instrumentation such as USBL underwater positioning system with GPS integration, allowing the ROV to be tracked in real-world coordinates in real time, and an integrated Tritech Micron Echosounder which permits the ROV to measure its height above the sea floor and maintain its height with our auto-altitude system.

This vehicle will also come with a dual function gripper, a sensor skid (which provides opportunities to integrate additional sensors to the system), double-dot tilting colour-laser scaling system, and a HD camera with uncompressed digital output (with zoom and manual/auto-focus control, exposure and colour adjustment).

The Chinook ROV will be used to conduct ecosystem identification and benthic surveys (underwater mapping of the sea floor) and inspection of first-year ice and multiyear ice.

The vehicle was delivered to Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the end of March 2019.

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