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Seaeye ROVs
 

The navigation bar opposite lists the full range of standard Seaeye ROVs that are available to choose from to meet your particular operational requirements.

Having selected the most appropriate system, your next consideration will be how it is to be deployed and operated. In principle there are two choices:

  • To Free Swim the ROV or
  • To deploy the ROV from a Tether Management System (TMS)

FREE SWIMMING SEAEYE ROVs

The following sketch illustrates the simplicity of the lowest cost method of operating a Seaeye ROV - 'Free Swimming' - and the minimum equipment needed to make up a complete free swimming Seaeye system.

The External Power Supply required for all Seaeye systems, (except for the Seaeye Falcon that uses single phase AC) is 3 Phase AC of between 380 to 480 vac.

The Surface Power Supply Unit is connected to the external power supply and provides the system with the various supplies required as well as line insulation monitors for safety.

The Surface Control Unit is connected to the Surface Power Supply Unit and contains all the control electronics for the system. This unit can be free standing and located on a convenient desk top or can be fitted into a 19 inch rack mount system in more permanent installations. This unit also provides the outputs from video, sonar and other sensors that may be fitted to the ROV. The comprehensive Seaeye video overlay is incorporated in the Surface Control Unit as standard for all Seaeye ROVs.

A Video Monitor or video suite including a video switcher, video recorders and monitors are connected to the Surface Control Unit. The ROV's camera(s) are routed to the monitor(s).

The Hand Controller used by the ROV pilot to 'fly' the ROV as he views the video monitor and other sensor information displayed on the video overlay, is connected to the Surface Control Unit by a 5 metre lead. All of the vehicle's control functions are incorporated in the Hand Control Unit. These include camera pan and/or tilt, autopilot functions, thruster trim controls, speed, direction, dive, surface and lighting intensity. Spare capacity for additional control functions is included.

An Umbilical connects between the Surface Control Unit and the ROV. For free swimming applications a tough, flexible, polyurethane sheathed umbilical is used. The umbilical contains power conductors to the ROV as well as control signal and video conductors. Spare conductors are provided for accessories such as sonar, survey sensors, CP probes and tools.

Launch and Recovery. The umbilical cable is designed to lift the ROV during the launch or recovery stages. It can be stored on a winch fitted with a slip ring for this purpose. However some operators save the cost of a dedicated winch and use a warping drum to take the weight of the vehicle during this process. The umbilical is coiled in a figure of eight to avoid any kinking and is then led to the warping drum from which it passes over an umbilical sheave to the ROV. When the ROV has been launched and sufficient umbilical has been deployed, the umbilical can be 'stopped' by taking a reverse turn on the warping drum.

The Umbilical Sheave can be fitted to a conveniently located ship's crane, davit or 'A' frame. In order to avoid damage to the umbilical, the sheave wheel must have a greater radius than the minimum bend radius of the umbilical.

TMS DEPLOYED SEAEYE ROV SYSTEMS

The following sketch illustrates a Seaeye ROV system deployed using a Tether Management System (TMS) and the additional equipment required. (A TMS is not available for the Seaeye Falcon ROV, which is usually hand-launched and operated free swimming):

A Tether Management System (TMS) comprises a remotely controlled tether cable spooling mechanism fitted into the top section of a side entry garage containing the ROV. The TMS is lowered to the required working depth where the ROV can be flown out of its garage to the extent of its tether cable.

An ROV Lift Winch, capable of lifting and deploying the combined weight of the ROV and the TMS as well as recovering the weight of the armoured umbilical is needed for these systems.

The Armoured Lift Umbilical replaces the soft umbilical used for free swimming operations and is designed to lift and deploy the combined weights of the TMS and ROV. This cable carries an increased number of power conductors to minimise the voltage drop between the surface and the ROV, allowing the vehicle to be operated to greater depths.

An 'A' Frame can be provided with the ROV Lift Winch as a combined Launch and Recovery System (LARS) package. Alternatively the ship's 'A' Frame or suitable crane can be used with the addition of an Umbilical Sheave to deploy the TMS.

The benefits of a TMS system include:

  • Operations to greater depths
  • Elimination of the effect of considerable drag forces on the umbilical at greater depths
  • Protection of the ROV during launch and recovery through the splash zone
  • Faster deployment to the working depth governed only by the speed of the winch, rather than the rate at which a free swimming ROV could dive using its vertical thruster(s).
  • A safe haven at depth for the ROV between tasks.

Full Specifications of Seaeye TMS Systems are provided at the Seaeye TMS systems section.