Subsea World News: ECA GROUP shows Off USV/ROV Combo for Subsea IMR Operations
Published on Subsea World News, February 2019.
During offshore operations ROVs are deployed from manned vessels dedicated to perform inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) operations.
TOTAL and TechnipFMC were interested in developing a new cost-saving solutions while maintaining a very high level of safety. Thus, a solution based on USVs deploying ROVs could replace traditional manned surface vessels for various light subsea IMR activities.
ECA Group worked together with Total and TechnipFMC in order to demonstrate the possibility to deploy and operate an ROV from a USV through a wireless communication link.
The concept was already successfully demonstrated during a technical presentation at OTC Houtson 2018, where both companies explained to have successfully carried out an inspection task using both its H300V ROV and USV INSPECTOR using a wireless communication link.
During this operation, an operator has conducted repetitive tasks from an onshore facility, on a simulated subsea asset, using an Remotely Operated Vehicle deployed from the Unmanned Surface Vehicle Inspector 90. Total and TechnipFMC were thus allowed to evaluate the impact of modifying communication parameters on the ROV operations, and to gather necessary information to validate the concept.
In particular, the effect of video quality and latency over the ROV operability were further evaluated. In addition, the gathered data will validate TechnipFMC’s simulator models, allowing further study of the capacity of an operator to perform an IMR activity using unmanned technology.