Essentially we are building off of a modified Sea Perch Base, a platform used by the Navy’s outreach initiatives. This preexisting system allows us to concentrate on adding sensors and various improvements instead of having to build from the ground up. Planned improvements to the Sea Perch include a water collection system, a plankton net and an Arduino powered Sensor System originally designed by MIT’s Sea Grant program. The ROV package will also include some marine science kit materials for gathering data on fields such as salinity, pH, nitrate, etc. All of the information gathered will either be manually entered in or logged through the Arduino system through an App currently being built by my fellow intern and blogger, Sam Holladay. We are ordering all of the parts this week which means that next week I’ll be able to commence building! As a computer scientist in college, I haven’t played around with this type of hardware since high school, so I’m pretty excited to get my hands dirty.
DoD campuses have pretty tight security policies, especially on photography, so unfortunately my most blogs posts will lack photos. But, I’ll be able to post some pictures of the finished ROV at the end of the summer!
Rachel Holladay, Naval Research Laboratory