The Deep Trekker DTG3 is a compact, battery operated ROV, with some highly innovative features and capabilities. As with any item of equipment, it’s important to read the manual and fully understand how to operate the machine. This blog post is intended to offer some basic tips for operating the DTG3 after becoming familiar with the controls.
One of the DTG3’s most interesting features is that it can alter the pitch (or angle) that it sits in the water. This is achieved by moving a counterweight inside the body of the DTG3. Altering the pitch allows the DTG3 to move through the water like an aeroplane flies in the sky, and allows for steep diving and surfacing (up to 85 degrees up or down), as well as gradual and controlled changes of depth. Altering the pitch also allows the optional grabber arm to be angled, for easier retrieval of objects.
Precise depth control can be completed using the auto-depth feature, which will hold the pitch of the DTG3 near vertical, and use the thrusters to keep at depth. One point to note is that if directional controls are input whilst using the auto-depth feature the DTG3 will pitch back to 45 degrees during the manoeuvring, then return to near vertical. If precise depth control, and manoeuvrability are required then consider adding the optional precision thruster to the DTG3.
The DTG3’s 4K video camera can either self-stabilise regardless of the pitch, can be locked to follow the pitch, and also separately tilted up or down. It is important to think ahead about how you will be using the camera in order to select the correct mode before completing a task. For example, if you are diving without knowing the way ahead is clear you may choose to lock the camera tilt so that it is always looking where the DTG3 is travelling.
Navigation can be challenging, particularly over large distances, or in poor visibility situations. Look for points of reference before completing a dive, or ideally review any details available of the area that the DTG3 will be operated in. If your DTG3 has a Sensor Pod you will have the benefit of heading and depth information that will significantly aid navigation. The heading is based on a magnetic compass bearing, so make sure you can reference North before starting your dive. If visibility is poor, turn down the speed gain and take it slowly.
Another innovative feature is the DTG3’s lightweight tether, which can be supplied in lengths of up to 800m. The tether is strengthened, with a minimum breaking strength of 90kg, and can be used to deploy and retrieve the DTG3. One word of caution would be that the tether may become wrapped around, or caught on submerged objects, such as rocks or trees. One indicator that the tether is caught is that the DTG3 fails to make progress in the water, or will not steer as expected. If this is the case resist the temptation to pull on the tether to free it, you may be making the situation worse! The best solution is to use the DTG3 camera to follow the tether back to the hang-up point, and attempt to release the tether by taking the same route back past the snag.
It’s easy to get up and running with the DTG3 due to its intuitive control system, and agile handling. If you want to know more about piloting the DTG3 please get in contact.
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