Under Ice at 87° N with the NUI Hybrid ROV

Mike Jakuba, Ph.D.
Research Engineer


Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, 3:00pm
Chase 130

The Nereid Under Ice (NUI) hybrid ROV is the latest in a family of vehicles derived from the Nereus prototype, using a bare unarmored optical fiber to provide real-time telemetry to and from a battery-powered vehicle. NUI's tether allows much greater lateral maneuverability from its support ship than a conventional ROV umbilical (20 km putative, 5 km to date); while still retaining certain advantages over untethered autonomous operation, principally human control for the interpretation of video and for interacting with the environment, including the use of a seven-function electro-hydraulic manipulator arm. NUI has operated under ice on two expeditions, first in 2014 at 83 N with a focus on the shallow under-ice environment, and just recently in Sept/Oct 2016, at 87º N with a focus on the sea floor. Ice cover in both cases was 8/10 to 10/10 and the vehicle operated successfully in ice drift speeds up to 0.7 kt. This presentation will describe the unique capabilities offered by hybrid robotic systems for operations under ice, as well as some of the challenges and solutions as embodied in the NUI system and concept of operations. More information on NUI is available at http://www.whoi.edu/main/nui.


Dr. Mike Jakuba's interests revolve around the development of underwater robotic systems in support of oceanographic science. He is the lead engineer for the is current projects include the development of a light-tethered hybrid-ROV system NUI, designed for under-ice telepresence. He is the vehicle design lead for NUI (Nereid Under Ice) and the development of a vertical profiling vehicle capable of large volume in situ filtration and RNA preservation for “-omics” studies (Clio). He is presently involved in integrating an ASV relay and navigation aid in the Sentry AUV system and a low-power version of an inverted USBL system suitable for integration only low-power systems like oceanographic gliders. He has expertise in vehicle design, tether modeling, navigation, and routinely aids in vehicle performance analyses. His ongoing research interests concern the development of hybrid control architectures that leverage occasional access to human perception to improve on-board autonomy, and reducing the reliance on ships. He has participated in more than 25 oceanographic research cruises with various autonomous vehicles—including the ABE and Sentry AUVs, the Nereus HROV, SeaBED-class AUVs, as well as Iver2 and REMUS AUVs.

Dr. Jakuba received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering/Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in 2003 and 2007, respectively.