For the research done on the Atlantis Station, scientists often need to get a closer look at the Blue Hole and to take samples. Unfortunately, due to the limited depths of divers' suits and the short amount of time that a diver can stay underwater, many of these tasks cannot be performed by divers. To accomplish such tasks, the research station will be equipped with both manned and unmanned robots.
The unmanned AUV robots take care of the tedious tasks that do not require human control or constant supervision. Such tasks include regular water samples, taken simultaneously, and other measurements such as light intensity. Unfortunately, the tetherless AUV cannot communicate with the station and therefore is incapable of returning real-time data. It's limited power supply and intelligence (having no operator) are also a handicap, which is why AUVs are reserved for simpler tasks.
The unmanned ROV robots are tethered to the station and are controlled by an operator at a console on the station and therefore provide real-time data and can be used for conditions that require human control or supervision, but that take too long for a diver to accomplish. Such tasks include surveying and collecting geological samples from the reefs.
The tether on ROVs is somewhat cumbersome, however, and limits the range of the ROV. The manned submersible solves this problem by putting the operator in the robot, eliminating the tether, which can snag and break delicate sturctures in the Blue Hole environment. The problem with the manned submersible, however, is its large size, which limits where it can go, its limited power supply, and the limited its human operant can spend within.
Sections of this portion of the site to visit: