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ECA GROUP successfully demonstrates USV/ROV interoperability for subsea inspections for TOTAL and TechnipFMC

Wednesday, February 13 2019
ECA GROUP has demonstrated the capability of performing a subsea inspection using its USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) INSPECTOR deploying a H300V type ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) within a Research and Development program led by TOTAL and TECHNIPFMC.

During offshore operations ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) are deployed from manned vessels dedicated to inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) operations.

Major actors of the Oil & Gas sector, such as TOTAL and TechnipFMC,were interested in finding new cost-saving solutions by using proven technologies, while maintaining a very high level of safety. Thus, a solution based on Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs) deploying ROVs has the potential to replace traditional manned surface vessels for various light subsea IMR activities.

ECA GROUP, expert in supplying complete systems using USV, ROV and AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) for Defence, worked alongside TOTAL and TechnipFMC in order to demonstrate the possibility to deploy and operate an ROV from a USV using a wireless communication link.

Following the technical paper presented by TechnipFMC, in collaboration with TOTAL about “Opportunities and Challenges of remote operating a ROV embarked on an USV ” (OTC-29000-MS, 2018) during OTC HOUSTON 2018, ECA GROUP has demonstrated the concept by successfully carrying out an inspection task using both its H300V ROV and USV INSPECTOR through a wireless communication link.




Fully Electrical Light Working Class ROV with manipulator

Fully Electrical H300V ROV with manipulator

Subsea inspection using H300 ROV controlled from the shore through the USV

Subsea inspection using H300V ROV controlled from onshore, deployed from USV INSPECTOR

During this operation, an operator has conducted repetitive tasks on a simulated subsea asset, using an H300V ROV deployed from the USV INSPECTOR controlled from an onshore facility. TOTAL and TechnipFMC were able to evaluate the impact of modifying communication parameters on the ROV operations, gathering necessary information to validate the concept.

In particular, TOTAL and TechnipFMC could evaluate the effect of video quality and latency over the ROV operability. In addition, the gathered data will validate TechnipFMC’s simulator models, allowing further evaluation of the capability of an operator to perform an IMR activity using unmanned technology

Remote operation control room on the shore able to operate USV and ROV simultaneously on real timeOnshore real time control of USV INSPECTOR and H300V ROV during trials

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