ECA GROUP successfully demonstrates USV/ROV interoperability for subsea inspections for 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 H300V ROV with manipulator
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
Onshore real time control of USV INSPECTOR and H300V ROV during trials