Dive Operations

After the previous four pre-dive checks and tests have been completed successfully, you are almost ready to commence the dive. But, there is one more issue to address that could affect the performance of the ROV. The ROV is designed to be operated in a near neutrally buoyant configuration, so the last step before launching your VideoRay is to check the buoyancy, and adjust the ballast if necessary. For most operations, the buoyancy is optimal when the top of the float block is even with the water surface and the ROV is level. If the ROV is too buoyant or too heavy, the vertical position may be hard to maintain or control.

Buoyancy will need to be adjusted for use in fresh water versus salt water and depending upon whether accessories are used with the ROV.

Buoyancy Check and Adjustment

To determine if the buoyancy is correct, lower the ROV and at least 3 meters (10 feet) of tether into the water. You can lower the ROV by the tether - it will not hurt the tether because there is Kevlar in it. Observe the ROV in the water - it should not be floating too high or sink. It should also be floating level and not tipped to one side or pitched up or down. If the ROV floats too high, you will need to add some ballast weights. If the ROV sinks, you will need to remove some ballast weights. If the ROV is not floating level, you can change the locations of the weights.

The buoyancy can be adjusted by adding or removing the supplied ballast weights to the vehicle. The weights can be added to or removed from the slots by hand. For most operations, the weights should be evenly distributed to provide a balanced attitude of the ROV in water.

Commence the Dive

Once the buoyancy has been adjusted the ROV is ready to launch. Lower it into the water and operate the controls to maneuver it. The ROV can be lowered using the tether.

  • Start with the ROV on the surface and push the joystick forward slightly to make the ROV move forward. Move the joystick to the left or right to make it turn left or right. Get a feel for how agile the ROV is.

  • Observe the video display as well as the ROV to become acquainted with the camera's wide angle lens and its affect on depth perception underwater.

  • Once you feel comfortable with the horizontal maneuverability of the ROV, rotate the depth control knob to dive the ROV. Tilt the camera down as you dive so you can see towards the bottom. Rotate the depth control knob to bring the ROV back to the surface. Tilt the camera up as you surface so you can see towards the surface.

  • Change the lights settings, and adjust the camera focus. If you have a manipulator, tilt the camera down so you can see it and open and close the jaws.

  • As you get familiar with maneuvering the ROV, you can start to observe some of the on-screen displays including the depth, heading, camera settings and other data.

For your first dives, practice until you are comfortable operating the controls without looking at them and you are able to control the ROV with some precision.

See the Hand Controller section of the Equipment Guide for complete information about using the hand controller and see the Piloting section of the Operations Guide for more advanced tips on piloting the MSS.

Automated Flight Operations

Automated flight operations require additional configuration and tuning to ensure accurate flight dynamics and control. See the Automated Flight Operations section for more details.

Practice Makes Perfect

Developing the skills to operate your MSS Defender like an expert may take some time. Practicing on a regular basis is highly recommended.


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MSS Defender Operator's Manual, Version: 1.00.00
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