FAREHAM, UK – Saab Seaeye has enhanced its global remote-control capability for its subsea electric ROVs via satellite link and 4G networks.
Remote control of theLeopard vehicle has been upgraded to include control of the tether management system.
This should reduce the need for offshore piloting personnel and advance the potential for long-distance control of remote resident systems, the company claimed.
Earlier trials of the concept demonstrated that the iCON intelligent control architecture could overcome the poor signal problems of low bandwidth and high latency that are typical of satellite communications, including coping with a 20% data drop out.
The Leopard has conducted complex tasks under the direct remote control of a pilot located at a shore base several thousand miles away, via the satellite link. The pilot could perform a step-by-step operation of mating and un-mating underwater connectors.
At the same time, the piloting operation was deliberately impeded by a 20% data drop-out.
Other vehicles that can be controlled in this way, Saab Seaeye added, include theSabertooth AUV, a hybrid system that can operate as both a roaming AUV and an ROV for performing light work tasks, and which is equipped for long-term residency operations in remote locations.
With fewer technicians needed offshore, and none in the case of remote resident locations, this should bring cost savings to offshore operators, the company said,
The advanced communications capability is said to offer operation via a low bandwidth link of 1.6 Mbyte/sec and high latency of up to 3 sec.
An important future role for iCON, the company added, will be distant management of resident robotic systems that remain on station for a year at remote locations ready for deployment on maintenance and inspection missions.