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Nova Ray / VideoRay - News - October 7, 2005

Coast Guard Successfully Test's MicroWing Conversion Kit For VideoRay® ROV's

Installing the Nova Ray® performance MicroWing was easy and quick. It took the place of the existing VideoRay® float. The vertical thruster propeller was exchanged with a worm drive that operated the elevator on the back of the Nova Ray® MicroWing. The MicroWing provided almost 2 lbs of buoyancy more than the VideoRay float so more lead was needed to keep the ROV neutrally buoyant.

Our first test, we towed the VideoRay® ROV with the Nova Ray® MicroWing in Lake Washington to simulate a 3 to 4 knott current. The ROV was stable and was able to be towed between 35ft (with 50ft of cable) and 95ft (with 230ft of cable). Under its own power it was able to descend deeper. While being towed, the ROV was able to travel up to 20 degrees off of the boats heading before returning to the boats original heading. The ROV maintained a smooth and stable ride.

Under its own power, the ROV with the Nova Ray® MicroWing provided a smooth and stable video. It was difficult to maintain a constant depth unless it was moving forward. The vertical thruster propeller was removed to operate the elevator. Therefore forward motion or a current is needed to dive, rise or maintain depth. We then took a road trip down to Portland Oregon to attempt a river trial in the Willamette River where we conduct normal ROV operations each year. Due to a high tide and lack of rain fall the river was not running at a current fast enough to utilize the MicroWing properly but we believe that had the current been greater we feel the outcome would have given us tool that would greatly enhance the operation.

The most effective use of the Nova Ray® MicroWing would help in keeping the ROV steady in a boat tow with a side-scanning sonar. This would allow for a good survey platform that can go and investigate any abnormalities without dropping any other gear in the water.

The ROV with the Nova Ray® MicroWing could be used to inspect the bottom of a barge or boat in a current. The ROV thrusters would have to be powerful enough to overtake the current. Or if running with the current, the tether could be repositioned to keep the ROV facing forward.

The Nova Ray® MicroWing could be modified to allow the forward camera to pan up for better visibility.

Tests were conducted by Martin Fairall and Jon Myers at the request of Marcus at VideoRay®.

Jon R. Myers
Martin Fairall
US Coast Guard
MSST 91101
1519 Alaskan Way So.
Seattle, WA. 98134
206-217-6974



 


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