Monday, April 12, 2021

Remote Operated Vehicle - ROV Latis

ROV Latis

ROV Latis is a smart multi-mode vehicle with advanced mission support augmented reality tools and pilot training simulators.

It is a flagship piece of equipment developed and built in CRIS at the University of Limerick. Smart ROV Latis, a 1000m depth rated state-of-the-art ROV is demonstrating many of the unique features offered by a software known as OceanRINGS. The software offers smart ROV technologies such as automatic way point following, one-click survey design, fault tolerant control, enchanced ROV auto and semi-autopilot systems that assist ROV pilots in operating in high energy environments to drasticaly reduce technical issues and risks that an ROV pilot has to deal with. All of the listed techniques, and many more, make the smart ROV Latis an incredibly intuitive, adaptable and cost effective piece of equipment.

As an advanced survey platform ROV Latis is fitted with an array of imaging sonars and camera systems, precision fibre optics gyro inertial navigation with acoustic transducers, DGPS and precision depth aiding and can operate in a number of configurations suitable for surface, shallow and deep operations.

Control Mode: Surface Tow
Control Mode: Surface Thrust
Control Mode: ROV Operation
Control Mode: Submerged Tow

ROV Latis and support systems are designed to be highly mobile and rapidly deployed using minimal crew. It's modular construction enables different types of usage, as a marine sensor and instrumentation test or as a demonstration platform for developing sensor and equipment. The 'on the fly' reconfiguration transforms ROV Latis from surface to ROV operation mode.

On the fly reconfiguration

The smart ROV Latis is a key technology for the future of oil, gas, marine renewable energy and even deep sea mining. MMRRC focuses on renewable energy from waves and tides, developing robots able to operate in strong currents and high energy wave environments. However, the ROV research and ocean system modelling is also applicable to conventional oil and gas industry.

Base Vehicle
Chassis Marine grade Aluminium frame with detachable Tool-skid
Max Payload 100kg
Max Operating Depth 1500m depth rating (currently limited by umbilical length; 400m)
Buoyancy Modules 1,000m depth rated syntactic foam
Thrusters Seaeye SM4 (4 horizontal, 4 vertical) - 250VDC @ 4.5A each = 36A (abs max)
Forward Speed (max) 0.76 m/s / 1.48 Knots
Lateral Speed (max) 0.45 m/s / 0.87 Knots
Vertical Speed (max) 0.50 m/s / 0.97 Knots
ROV Power Supply 11kVA, 32A @ 250VDC & 10A @ 240VAC
Embedded Control & Acquisition System National Instruments, Compact RIO (embedded real-time processor with FPGA, and hot-swappable I/O modules)
Control PC Digital Logic AG, MICROSPACE EBX945 (miniature PC/AT compatible computer)
Fibre/Media Converters 2 off TC3240, Switching/Bridging 100BaseT Ethernet converter pairs,
1 off VersaTech, 100BaseT Ethernet converter pair (100BaseT), and
1 off Focal 907, Serial &Video Fibre converter pair

Instruments & Payload Sensors
Multibeam Sonar Reson SeaBat 7125/7128 multibeam echsounder system
Sidescan Sonar Tritech SeaKing ROV/AUV sidescan sonar (325kHz)
Sound Velocity Probe Reson (Navatronic Systems As) SVP-24
Depth & Altitude CDL Microbath (Digiquartz & precision depth modules)
Doppler Velocity Log RDI Workhorse Navigator 600
GPS (on surface) CSI-Wireless, Seres Automatic dual channel WAAS/EGNOS tracking GPS
Obstacle Avoidance 6 x Tritech single beam echosounders
Inertial Navigation IXSEA PHINS (Fibre optic gyro with Kalman filter; outputs: position, heading, roll, pitch, depth, velocity, and heave)
Cameras Forward pilot camera: Bowtech Explorer-3K Low Light Monochrome on a Bowtech SS-109 Pan & Tilt system
Downward facing control camera: LCC-600 Monochrome,
Tether camera: LCC-600 Monochrome,
Downward facing Biology camera: Tritech Typhoon colour zoom
Lights 2 off Tritech LEDlite,
1 off Bowtech LED-800, LED-1600, and ST5K Xenon Strobe Lights

Length 400 metres
Diameter 25mm
Breaking Strain 80 KN
Min Bend Radius 200mm
Strength Member Braided Vectran fibre
AC Power Conductors 6 off polypropylene insulated 2mm2 plain coppers
DC Power Conductors 4 off polypropylene insulated 10mm2 plain coppers (power to thrusters)
Optical Fibres 8 off 9/125/250 µm single mode optical fibres

Inshore Winch
Chassis S355 (Gr50D) steel incorporating drum assembly
Dimensions length: 1455mm, height: 1180mm, depth: 1560mm
Drum Capacity 400 metres of umbilical
Fibre Optics 8 off single mode signal fibres
Slipring Prizm Model CK7206-007: Electro-Optical Slip Ring Assembly (7 optical passes)

This exercise was focused around the use of remote vehicles for oil spill response offshore. Known as exercise 'Cathach' this multi-agency operation brought together European and Irish agencies for a two day scenario in the Shannon Estuary, Ireland.

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The MMRRC joined the NATO underwater research centre in La Spezia, Italy for offshore field testing of an anti-mine countermeasure system involving ROV LATIS and a modified untethered VideoRAY

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This survey was planned in collaboration with the Underwater Archaeology Unit, Ireland, with a focus of deep water survey of various shipwrecks in lying off the coast of Donegal. The survey was undertaken with the support of the Marine Institute, Ireland aboard the Irish Research Vessel Celtic Explorer for a full seven days.

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The MMRRC were contracted to complete an ROV mounted high resolution survey of two shipwreck outside Cork Harbour, Ireland. This project was completed in collaboration with the Irish Naval Service and the Underwater Archaeology Unit, using the Naval vessel LÉ Eithne as a support vessel.

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