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Tips For Pilots
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Tips For Pilots

Nova Ray® ROVs are easy to operate. Here are a few tips for making operating even easier. If you have some tips from your own experience, please let us know. We’ll post them here for other pilots.

  1. Picture yourself sitting in the vehicle, looking out the forward acrylic dome. This makes it easier to relate to the controls.

  2. Trust the artificial horizon and compass on the Control Console. Get familiar with the controls by trying not to watch the vehicle when it is near the surface of the water. It can be confusing to relate your control movements with the motion of the vehicle, especially if it is not moving away from you. For example, if it is going toward you, a left turn will cause the vehicle to turn to your right. Most of the time you will not see the vehicle while it is performing tasks. Practicing maneuvers from the Control Console only when the vehicle is on the water surface will improve your underwater control.

  3. Maintain a firm but gentle control of the joy stick to avoid over reacting to vehicle movements. Gradually change speed, direction and depth control by “finessing” the joystick. The natural tendency is to stop or slow down abruptly, but this is not necessary. Gradual compensation helps maintain better control. Evasive motions are rarely necessary, but the Nova Ray® ROV is capable of very tight turns when needed.

  4. When performing a sonar scan of an unknown area, it is a good idea to start from a shallow depth and obtain a general idea of objects on the bottom. Once this is done, subsequent scans can be performed closer to the bottom of the body of water.

  5. No matter how much you finesse the controls, at times the umbilical may get snagged. Remain calm and assess the situation. If possible, pilot the ROV to the site of the problem to get a visual image. In most cases, it is possible to “untie” the umbilical and recover the vehicle. In the event that the umbilical (or any other object) fouls the vehicle itself (rudder or elevon jam), do not make any radical control surface movement without first trying to determine the nature of the jam. It may be possible to free the control surface by executing a manual override.
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