Milton’s Underwater ROV Team Earns Trip to the Nationals at the NASA Johnson Space Center

05-05_rov_1Milton Academy’s remotely operated underwater vehicle team (MAROV) earned first place in the underwater mission competition, and second place overall, in the Third Annual New England Regional ROV competition, held this year at the University of Rhode Island’s Tootell Aquatic Center in Kingston, R.I., on Saturday, April 23, 2005.

As a result of their second place finish, the MAROV Team has earned a qualifying slot, along with High Technology (New Jersey), in the Fourth Annual National ROV Competition to be held at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston June 17-19, 2005.

The Team encountered three underwater “Olympics” tasks in roughly 18 feet of water. Each task was timed and included a five-minute preparation time between tasks. ROV’s vehicle, Henrietta, had first to descend to a mock oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico’s Green Canyon and cap an oil well. She then had to surface and prepare to dive to transport a fiber optic cable and communications probe to an undersea junction box in order to reestablish a communications link. The third timed task required Henrietta to replace an instrument module on a vertical wall at depth. All tasks were completed using only the views from the two underwater cameras on ROV’s vehicle.

Daniel Lee ’05, Sam Minkoff ’06, Matthew Schoen ’06, Seo Hyung Kim ‘06, Alice Tin ’06, Chae Yeong Yoo ’07 and Charles Johnson ’07 were the core members of this year’s ROV Team present at the regional competition.

Corporate sponsors for this year’s N.E. Regional included U.R.I.’s College of Engineering and Ocean Engineering, U.R.I.’s Robotics Education and Research Institute, the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), the New England section of the Marine Technology Society (MTS), and of course, MATE. The secondary schools that participated in this year’s Regional at U.R.I. included The Sound School (Conn.) High Technology (N.J.), East Lyme (Conn.) Cranston Area Technical (R.I.), North Kingston (R.I.), South Kingston (R.I.), Plymouth North (Mass.), and Cambridge Rindge and Latin (Mass.).

Forty-seven high schools, technical and community colleges, and universities from across the U.S. and Canada are scheduled to compete in the Fourth Annual National ROV Competition organized by the Marine Advanced Technology Society’s (MTS) ROV Committee in June. “Underwater Olympics” will once again be the setting for the pool mission tasks that include precise navigational skills, as well as the location, maintenance, and recovery of scientific equipment.

Last year, MAROV took first place in the New England and, despite the significant equipment failure of a camera, the team placed 10th out of 23 nationally and took top honors for overall design and use of their three remotely controlled grippers.

The team is advised by faculty member Tom Gagnon (science).

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