The ROPOS (Remotely Operated Platform for Ocean Sciences) is a robotic vehicle capable of operating in depths up to 5,000 meters. During VISIONS'11 the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) will be used to directly observe instrument and secondary cable locations for the Regional Scale Nodes component of the Ocean Observatories Initiative. Portions of primary cable, which will be installed July-August 2011, will also be observed.
ROPOS is tethered to the ship by a fiber optic cable, which allows real-time communication to and from the ship and the ROV. During a dive, ROPOS requires three people to operate it: a pilot (who operates the vehicle controls), a co-pilot (who monitors and operates the winch that pays in and hauls out the fiber optic cable attached to ROPOS), and a navigator (who is responsible for making sure the ship and vehicle are in the desired positions). Three to five scientists will work in the ROV control room during each watch alongside the ROPOS crew to ensure that the scientific goals of the cruise are accomplished.
ROPOS is operated by the Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility.