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Ægir 6000 sets out to explore the deep sea

Norway’s new scientific remotely operated vehicle (ROV) has been christened Ægir, after the old Norse god of the sea. CGB scientists are setting out on Ægir's first deep ocean exploration.

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Aegir 6000
Ægir 6000 with Pro-Rector Annelise Fimreite and Dr. Rolf B. Pedersen during the baptism ceremony

On July 1st in Bergen harbour aboard the R/V G.O. Sars, Dr. Rolf Birger Pedersen handed ROV Ægir 6000 a beer to perform a self-baptism using its automanipulating arm. Along with the christening, Rector Dag Rune Olsen and Pro-Rector Annelise Fimreite of the University of Bergen gave Ægir well-wishes for all its future expeditions. The ceremony landed on a sunny afternoon filled with excitement about the unveiling of the star of NORMAR (The Norwegian Marine Robotics Facility).

The baptism was performed just before Ægir’s maiden voyage, during which CGB scientists plan to explore the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) near Jan Mayen Island and Loki’s Castle vent field from July 3rd to 17th. Ægir can be mounted aboard other ships with the capacity for an ROV and is intended for use as a national marine robotics facility in Norway. Its mobility will come in handy when the Norwegian icebreaker Kronprins Haakon is operational in 2017: Ægir will be able to be mounted above the moon pool of such a vessel and can be used to explore under sea ice during polar expeditions.

With so much of the deep sea remaining to be explored, Ægir has a big job ahead of it. New subsea venting sites are still being discovered along the AMOR in Norwegian territorial waters, and there is still much seafloor which remains uncharacterized.  The assistance of an ROV will bolster the scientific exploration capabilities of Norwegian institutions by deploying equipment to the seafloor and retrieving data otherwise impossible to collect. Being one of the few vehicles in the world able to dive as deeply as 6,000 meters, Ægir will undoubtedly uncover new information about the alien world of the deep sea.

Check out coverage of this story on:
Norwegian television station NRK
in the UiB magazine På Høyden
and the UiB communication's division