Evaluation of the first year of scientific use of the French ROV Victor 6000

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Sarradin, P. M. , Olu Leroy, K. , Ondréas, H. , Sibuet, M. , Klages, M. , Fouquet, Y. , Savoye, B. , Drogou, J. F. and Michel, J. L. (2002): Evaluation of the first year of scientific use of the French ROV Victor 6000 , Underwater technology, Proceedings of the 2002 International Symposium, Tokyo .
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The evaluation of the first year of intensive scientific use of the French deep sea Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) "VICTOR 6000" is presented.VICTOR was used in 2001 during five cruises on continental margins. ZAIROV 1 & 2, BIOZAIRE 1 & 2 cruises were conducted offshore Western Africa and CARACOLE cruise along the North East Atlantic margins (Porcupine and Rockall bank). Cold seep settings (up to 3000m depth), coral mounds (400-1000m), oil exploration rigs (1300m) and the Zaire channel (about 4000m) were explored. VICTOR carried out on site work during two cruises (IRIS & ATOS) on the hydrothermal vent areas in the Mid Atlantic Ridge (Menez Gwen 850m, Lucky Strike 1650m and Rainbow 2350m). Finally, VICTOR was used by Alfred Wegener Institute, through a French-German co-operation in arctic deep sea, to study high diversity of species in the deep sea, in high latitude (AWI leg).Different strategies were tested during those cruises like survey and exploration or experimental work on small areas. The dives duration ranged between 8 to 28 hours on the bottom. The high potential of Victor was confirmed in both strategies with a high ability for manipulation and the trials of varied instrumentation. The status and recent evolutions of the VICTOR 6000 are presented showing the essential role of a dynamic technical support oriented toward the satisfaction of the scientific objectives and operability.

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