Feature 3 | ROVS AND AUVS Drone developments

Offshore Marine Technology rounds up some of Q2’s offshore ROV-/AUV-related product launches and orders


his year’s Ocean Business exhibition, hosted in Southampton, UK in April,

saw Kongsberg

Maritime launch its GeoPulse unmanned surface vehicle (USV), designed for both remote-controlled and autonomous operations up to a range of 2km. Te USV is so named as it incorporates

Kongsberg’s GeoPulse Compact sub-bottom profiling system. This piece of kit uses digital processing and waveform selection technology in the 2-18kHz band, enabling the operator to select from various configurations, power signatures and pulse shapes, depending on the specific task at hand; one suggested mission type, for instance, is analysis of sediment layers. A battery pack feeds electric motors,

tailored to permit an endurance of six hours when operating at 6knots. Kongsberg says that the GeoPulse Compact also has “more than 100dB of noise-free dynamic range”. Te end user can control the USV by a laptop, via the supplied GP 1000 soſtware, which is interfaced to the deck unit over an Ethernet radio modem. Kongsberg also chose the Southampton

event to launch a revamped version of its Flexview multibeam sonar. Te company has

increased the sonar’s operating

frequency range from 500kHz to a range of between 950-1,400kHz, and the enhanced unit will now provide 200m coverage over 140°. In comparison, the previous, 500kHz version offered 70m coverage over 140°. Te Flexview has been developed for

use by smaller ROVs, and particularly those specialising in observation-related tasks such as offshore site inspections, environmental monitoring and even search and rescue. One of the Flexview’s claimed ‘firsts’ includes the incorporation of a removable transducer. Should the transducer sustain damage, or experience technical hitches during operations, the crew can replace it at sea.

12 Kongsberg’s

GeoPulse Compact USV reportedly consumes just 11% of the power requirements of earlier GeoPulse solutions

Kongsberg claims that the GeoPulse

Compact “consumes only 11% of the power requirements of earlier GeoPulse systems”. Additionally, the unit can send data at a rate of more than 100Mbps.

Revolution starts here Meanwhile, Deep Trekker has launched its new Revolution range of subsea ROVs, developed to undertake underwater inspections in harsh environments and to hold its own against currents of up to 3.5knots. Incorporating a carbon fibre

body within a stainless steel frame, the Revolution makes use of an auto-stabilisation system to provide a steady platform for image capture. Te vehicle is equipped with a 4K ultra-high-

definition (UHD) camera and integrated sonar, linked to a manipulator arm. Tis arm is strengthened to 31.75kg, Deep Trekker says, and can be rotated to grant the camera a 260° field of view. Te ROV is capable of operating in

water depths descending to 305m. Te manufacturer adds: “The ROV tether can pull up to 136kg to the surface.” Live video captured by the ROV’s camera is relayed directly to the unit’s handheld controller, which is waterproofed and features a 7” display screen.

Stream of orders Demand for ROVs and AUVs hasn’t totally tailed off in the offshore sector, even if the military and fishing sectors seem like more reliable customer bases at present.

Deep Trekker’s Revolution ROV incorporates an auto- stabilisation system for steady image capture

Offshore Marine Technology 2nd Quarter 2019

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