Generally speaking, most of the remotely operated vehicles available in Europe and the former Soviet Union (FSU) are work vehicles for the offshore industry. These are discussed in detail in Chapter 5 of this report. However, there were several specialty ROVs that have been designed or are being developed for scientific and unique applications. These include the Intershelf Fish-103 series of ROVs, developed for assessment of the environmental effects from the sunken Komsomolets nuclear submarine. These compact ROVs have been used to make observations and measurements using a tether management system on the Mir submersibles.
In addition to the 6,000 m and 3,000 m submersibles, IFREMER is developing a 6,000 m ROV that is scheduled for sea trials in 1995. This $7 million project (manpower costs excluded) will incorporate scientific requirements, including sensors and instrumentation from undersea researchers. This ROV will utilize a fiber optic umbilical and a 300 m tether with three tool packages, including biological, geological, and ocean sensor configurations. These tool packages will be interchangeable with the scientific ROVs operated by the Monterey Bay Research Institute (MBARI), Monterey, California, allowing broader accessibility to the world undersea science community.