Benthic crawlers are subea vehicles that crawl on the seafloor and carry out detailed investigations of processes influencing gas hydrates evolution at the seafloor.
Two Benthic Crawlers, Wally I and Wally II, have been deployed in Barkley Canyon hydrates. Developed by a team based at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, the suite of sensors mounted on Wally typically includes cameras, a compass, methane sensors, current meter, CTD, fluorometer, and turbidity meter. Wally crawls on dual tractor treads, which allow a full range of forward, backward and turning movement. Including the titanium frame, drive motors, sealed electronics chambers, wiring, lights, HD video camera, and sensors, its out-of-water weight is 275 kg. With syntactic foam floatation blocks attached, this is reduced to an in-water weight of 40 kg.
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