Pretty exciting stuff...
Dec. 9, 2003 news release I found on eurekalert
New Hybrid Vehicle Will Enable US Scientists
to Reach Deepest Parts of the World Ocean Floor
Pretty flimsy tether 1/30nd inch diameter. Okay that comes into play at about 3,300 feet (1,000 m) deep...and is for communication with the ship. Wow, it can pay out up to 11 miles of microfiber cable... I wonder if seaweed and other debris might make reeling that in a problem...Well it gets recovered from the heavy cable tether end, not the HROV end
They will not only be able to access the deepest parts of the ocean, but also under the Arctic ice pack. I am sure there will be interesting things there.