Underwater world always excited people's consciousness. It seems to them that studying the secrets of the sea is an incredible adventure, remembered for life.
But there are times when even the most modern equipment does not help a person to descend into the water. For such purposes, a special drone was developed.
The idea of creating an underwater drone
When archaeologist John Foster talks about ships, he is so emotional, as if he speaks of beautiful girls. He is the author of the idea of creating a deep drone.
This story was inspired by the history of the ship "Queen of the Lake" from Lake Tahoe. This ship made regular trips to the magnificent lake, located on the border of California and Nevada. Thanks to its location in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
"Queen" regularly carried people, cargo and mail. Passengers loved her for her beauty, elegance and comfort.
But nothing can stop technical progress. As soon as the bypass highway around the lake was built in 1930, the demand for sea transportation gradually faded. The company that owns the "Queen of the Lake" lost its contract for postal transportation, and once the proud and beautiful ship gradually turned into a pile of old scrap metal.
A little while later, local businessman Seth Bliss together with his son Dwayne came up with an interesting thing. They deliberately flooded the ship in the lake, not a small depth, allowing the ship to examine through a special glass bottom of tourist boats. So they planned to attract more guests to the lake.
However, father and son made a miscalculation. In 1940, the "Queen" began to slip on the slope of the lodge of Lake Tahoe and continued its movement until it was at a depth of 150 meters. Considering the high altitude of the lake - almost 2 km above sea level - immersion in this area becomes a complex and dangerous process.
To swim to the ship, divers were only able in 2002, and at that time it was a world record for diving in high-altitude reservoirs.
To investigate the "Queen of the Lake" on Lake Tahoe, John Foster arrived with the team OpenROV. This project, like many other great ideas, began with crowdfinding in Kickstarter. His goal was to create an underwater drones, capable of diving to depth and to shoot on camera all that he had seen.
In this mission, the drone was to reach the bottom of Lake Tahoe and find a ship that had lain there for more than 70 years. Was used drones, the cost of which is less than 900 US dollars. This is much cheaper than all the other equipment needed for such a study. The developers are sure that with the help of such a robot-diver, many researchers of the sea depths will be able to see what was previously unnoticed right under their noses.
Later, a new model will be presented, called "Trident". This drone can sink a hundred meters deep with the speed of a professional swimmer.
Preparation of the drone
Since the "Queen of the Lake" lies at a depth exceeding 100 meters, the UAV was slightly modified for this mission. For quality control of the drone, a long leash was dropped into the water. The team in the rubber boat on the surface transmitted the data to the operation control center.
Here, using the console from PlayStation, they managed to move the drone down to the lost steamer. Participants collecting money to create a deep drona could watch the immersion online.
And here is the "Queen"!
The drone progressed deeper until, finally, he came upon a rusted, darkened beyond recognition, but absolutely exactly the right ship. "The Queen of the Lake" was still in an upright position, so the underwater vehicle was able to swim freely along its decks and look into the surprisingly well-preserved cabins. He showed why the ship was so popular in its time.
The research team rejoiced, the online audience expressed their approval, and archaeologist John Foster just whispered: "She is beautiful."
This was only the first of the dives made on the lake that week, but the dream of improving the underwater exploration gradually acquired a real outline. As OpenROV co-founder David Lang said, the ultimate goal of the project is full satisfaction of curiosity.