Nereus is a novel operational underwater vehicle designed to perform scientific survey and sampling to the full depth of the ocean of 11,000 meters — almost twice the depth of any present-day operational vehicle. Nereus operates in two different modes. For broad area survey, the vehicle can operate untethered as an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) capable of exploring and mapping the sea floor with sonars and cameras. For close up imaging and sampling, Nereus can be converted at sea to operate as a tethered remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
Nereus, an unmanned vehicle, operates in two complementary modes. It can swim freely as an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to survey large areas of the depths, map the seafloor, and give scientists a broad overview. When Nereus locates something interesting, the vehicle’s support team can bring the vehicle back on board the ship and transforms it into a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) tethered to the ship via a micro-thin, fiber-optic cable. Through this tether, Nereus can transmit high-quality, real-time video images and receive commands from skilled pilots on the ship to collect samples or conduct experiments with a manipulator arm.