(Above: Texas A&M’s similar Max Rover, hunting shipwrecks)

According to a press release from HSU:

Humboldt State University has acquired a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), a submarine that will be used to study marine habitats and organisms up to 3,000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface.

The Deep Sea Systems Max Rover is a gift from the U.S Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center at Port Hueneme, Calif. to HSU’s California Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and will be used by HSU faculty and students to conduct a variety of marine research. It was previously used by the U.S. Navy to recover aircraft, drones and conduct marine research.

“In addition to being a tremendous asset to the university, this rover will help enhance our understanding of Northern California’s largely unexplored coast line,” said Brian Tissot, HSU’s Marine Lab Director.

Photo via HSU Marine Lab’s Facebook Page

The device will be used in conjunction with the R.V. Coral Sea—HSU’s oceangoing teaching and research vessel—for teaching and research in biology, fisheries, oceanography, chemistry, engineering and environmental sciences. It will also be available for contract work.

Among its features are: the capacity to record and transmit underwater video and the ability to carry equipment and collect marine samples.

Tissot said the submarine could be used to explore the continental shelf, survey marine organisms and assess the health of local fish populations.

“We might even find new species and ecological zones that have never been explored,” he said.

ROVs are frequently used by scientists to explore the ocean. Some have discovered new marine species.

The Deep Sea Systems Max Rover is the newest addition to HSU’s marine research fleet, which includes the R.V. Coral Sea—an oceangoing research and teaching vessel—and the Phantom XL ROV, which reaches depths of up to 1,000 feet.