A successful ROV cruise relies on a healthy interaction between the Chief Scientist, ROV Expedition Leader and the Master of the support ship.
A successful ROV cruise relies on a healthy interaction between the Chief Scientist, ROV Expedition Leader and the Master of the support ship. The Chief Scientist defines the scientific mission of the expedition and conveys to the Expedition Leader what equipment needs to be employed in order to meet the scientific goals. It is good practice for the Chief Scientist to keep the entire scientific party aware of the cruise objectives and to provide advance notice (24-hour basis) of the operations plan.
The Expedition Leader is in charge of all ROV operations during the at-sea portion of the mission. This includes vehicle launch and recovery, maintenance and scheduling operations personnel. His primary concerns are for the safety of personnel and the long-term care of the assets (vehicles, equipment) on board.
Decisions to alter operations due to weather considerations are made by the Expedition Leader in conjunction with the Master of the vessel. The Master, of course, has ultimate authority over all scientific gear deployments.
Pilot training occurs 2 hours out of every 24 hours submerged. Pilot training will occur on the designated Training Pilot’s watch, coordinating this time with the Watch Leader.
Turn Around Time
The standard turn-around time for NDSF ROV re-deployment is 12 hours. This is defined as vehicle on deck to vehicle launch. Turn around time can include re-deployment of the same vehicle, i.e., Jason, Medea, or it can include switching to another vehicle such as Alvin, Sentry,or another vehicle when NDSF personnel are involved in these other operations. NDSF shipboard personnel will always attempt to shorten this time when possible at the discretion of the Expedition Leader, and there will be many circumstances when it may be significantly shortened. However, the deployment, recovery, and operation of NDSF vehicles can be an inherently dangerous undertaking. When personnel are not rested, people are more likely to be injured or cause damage to equipment. Therefore the following will be considered for shorter turn around times:
- The primary consideration is Operations Personnel sleep and rest status. Sleep and rest of the operations personnel will not be compromised. It is acknowledged that the Ops. Team, though operating around the clock, generally attempts to get their longer sleep period between 2000 and 0800. Therefore, if a vehicle is turned around during daytime hours, defined as recovered at or after 0800 AND redeployed before 2000, then a faster turn around will be considered.
- If there are repairs to be conducted to the vehicles this will affect our ability to do a faster turn around.
- Changes to vehicle science configuration will affect our ability to do a faster turn around.
- If Ops. Personnel are concentrating their efforts on science or other equipment repairs this will affect our ability to do a faster turn around.
- Deployments of elevators also are a consideration because NDSF personnel build, deploy, and navigate the elevators to the sea floor.
- Attempts should be made to have all launches and recoveries occur at the change of watch, i.e. 0400, 0800, 1200, 1600, 2000, and 0000. This will help keep personnel on their normal sleep schedule and make it easier to do a fast turn around.
Two hours out of every 24 hours submerged will be designated Pilot Training Time. Pilot Training will occur on the designated Training Pilot’s watch, after coordinating this time with the Expedition Leader, Science Watch Leader, and Chief Scientist.
Use of Hazmat
Use of hazardous materials on ROV Jason, to be deployed or recovered by Jason should be cleared in advance with the Kevin Kavanagh, NDSF Field Ops. coordinator.
More information about use of hazardous materials on UNOLS ships is available on the UNOLS website.