Hela ROV

General System Characteristics

Hela ROV

The Hela ROV is a 330 meter Deep Ocean Engineering Phantom P3S2 ROV that has been significantly modified to better serve as a science platform, principally by modifications to the frame to an open frame design.  This modification was completed in 2003 to accommodate a High Definition video camera to support integration of a High Definition video camera and has since been further modified to support high resolution imaging systems.  The Hela is relatively simple to deploy, utilizing a simple downweight connected to the umbilical as a depressor system and storing its 1200 foot electro-optic tether in a deck box.  The Hela’s topside control system and video recording hardware are mounted in standard 19” rack-mount cases.

Hela Sampling Capabilities

 Imaging and Sonar Systems

  • Support for a single hi-definition video camera and one standard definition (NTSC) video feed and a digital still camera and strobes.
  • Support for up to two independently switched parallel laser pairs for size scaling and image calibration (10 and 20cm typical).
  • Support for two lights switched through a topside dimmer circuit.
  • A medium duty center-positioned pan/tilt unit to accommodate various imaging, lighting, and scaling systems.
  • The following is a list of imaging and lighting systems currently available for integration on the Hela platform:


  • One Kongsberg OE14-502 Hi-Definition video camera, depth rated to 6000 meters
  • Two Insite Pacific 3-chip, standard definition broadcast quality video cameras, two available (Aries 3000m & Atlas 4000m rated)
  • Four Insite Pacific Aurora standard definition, wide angle single chip video cameras
  • One Insite Pacific Scorpio Plus 3 mega-pixel digital still camera (6000 meter rated) with twin electronic strobes (3000 meter rated)


  • Four 200 watt Nuytco HMI lights for daylight quality (5600o K) lighting
  • Five Deep Sea Power & Light Quartz Halogen Multi-SeaLite units
  • Support for a Kongsberg Simrad Mesotech Ltd. Digital sector scanning sonar head with surface controlled interface.


  • Single function electric manipulator with grabber claw to support simple sample collection, device deployment, component recovery, and other manipulative functions.

Tracking & Navigation Systems

  • ORE Trackpoint II Ultrashort Baseline (USBL) tracking system for general relative vehicle tracking and positioning.
  • Winfrog Integrated Navigation System (INS) incorporating USBL tracking offsets, vessel GPS, vessel Gyro, vessel fathometer, K2 heading, depth, and altitude.  Along with providing for basic vehicle navigation the Winfrog INS also provides the ability to integrate multibeam and side scan sonar geo-tiffs to serve as basemaps and aid in pilot navigation, exploration and research efficiencies as well as the ability to continuously log ROV and ship navigation and sensor data, provided to scientists in text-readable format.