ROV products in action

March 1, 2012

Trial run

Perth-based subsea engineering and remote technology firm Velocious has rolled out a new ‘mock' ROV that the company says can be configured to any industry standard workclass ROV, including the six most widely used ROVs in subsea construction. The Velocious Mock ROV incorporates hydraulic power and controls, lights, cameras and manipulators, and can be stored and transported in a custom-built container for easy transport.

The equipment can replicate all functions an ROV typically conducts during subsea work, allowing Velocious ‘to tailor its services to its clients' varying specifications and demands,' the company said. Most recently, Velocious used the Mock ROV to test tools for Chevron's Gorgon LNG project offshore Western Australia. In August 2011, the company announced a contract with Chevron to design and fabricate components and tooling for a subsea pipeline and to provide hardware and other onshore services for Gorgon.

The first Velocious Mock ROV was the product of four months of research & development and more than $500,000 investment. 

Subsea teamwork

ROV and AUV software developer SeeByte and manufacturer Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) have teamed up to develop advanced control algorithms for ROV systems. The collaboration will build on SMD's experience with its Distributed Vehicle Control System and on SeeByte products such as SeeTrack CoPilot, a plug-andplay software that enables planning and execution of semiautonomous, pre-programmed ROV missions.

The companies previously joined forces to develop what SeeByte calls the first mid-water DP application for rock-dumping, for the Jan de Nul Group. ‘This is yet another positive partnership born from our software's proven ability to improve the capabilities of ROVs during subsea missions, especially when paired with hardware as well-designed and respected as that of SMD,' said SeeByte CEO Bob Black.

The partnership ‘aims to push the boundaries for sophisticated autonomous and pilot-assist systems for workclass operations in a range of environments,' according to SeeByte. 

Current events

Fugro Subsea Services has introduced 3D sea current profiles to its DeepWorks line of subsea simulators, allowing users to model complex currents at various depths and locations. The modeled currents provide more realistic environmental conditions for training ROV pilots and help dive teams better understand safety constraints for payout and management of divers' umbilical cables to avoid hazards, Fugro says.

The same holds true for ROV tethers, the company says: configured current profiles simulate the physical effects of currents as the ROV tether moves through different current fields, around objects, and through deep or shallow waters. In cable lay operations, for example, the technology enables operators to determine how far the vessel heading must be offset from the trench to compensate for the effect of the current. ‘In deeper water fields, complex current profiles make it difficult, unaided, to predict cable touch down accurately,' according to Fugro. ‘DeepWorks now enables different current settings to be tried in various scenarios, to determine the safe operating envelope and helps to validate procedures for optimal payout speed and vessel navigation.'

Users can define the strength, heading and elevation of currents and modify values during the course of a simulated mission. The 3D sea current modeling capability is available on new DeepWorks orders and as an upgrade to existing installations. OE


BRANCHING OUT: A technician works on a manipulator at Schilling Robotics' new regional service and support center in Brazil. The 3000ft2 facility, on the FMC Technologies campus in Macaé, will provide spares, repair, technical training, equipment leasing and logistics management.

In partnership with FMC, which is set to take full ownership of Schilling this month, the facility has been staffed with local personnel and will expand services throughout 2012 to include more Schilling product lines. ‘The Brazil market is growing rapidly for our customers, and Schilling will continue to invest in providing the most comprehensive local support available in the region,' declared Schilling Robotics CEO Tyler Schilling.


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