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Sea floor drill rig MARUM-MeBo

Samples from the sea floor provide the basis for a broad scope of research at MARUM. Drilling ships make it possible to retrieve long cores from soft sediments and hard rocks, but these are not readily available to scientists because of the extremely large effort and expense associated with their operation. A sea-floor drilling rig (MeBo – from the German: Meeresboden-Bohrgerät) was therefore developed at MARUM that can be deployed from research vessels like the METEOR and the SONNE. It can operate at depths down to 2000 meters, and take cores up to 70 meters long in soft sediments or hard rocks (specifications). Development of this rig was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and by the State of Bremen.
The MeBo is a portable drill rig that is lowered to the sea floor with a special steel-armoured cable manufactured by the Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke (NSW), where it is remotely operated from the ship. Copper wires and optical fibers within the umbilical cable are used for energy supply and communication. The MeBo uses a telemetry system from Schilling Robotics. This company also designed the loading arm and the rotating magazines that are used for holding the necessary drill string on the rig. Prakla Bohrtechnik was responsible for the drill technology and the hydraulics. Project management, sensor integration, control hardware and software development were carried out by MARUM.

A short film about MeBo can be seen in the media section.
Additional information on the MeBo page of the MARUM web site.