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Submersible Remote Operator Vehicle

Published [ July 19, 2016 ]

Application: Submersible Remote Operator Vehicle

Sector: Oil & Gas: Off-shore

Location: Global

AMG Product: Bespoke AMG4700 series


Transmission System for Submersible ROVs.
Submersible ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) provide the essential off-shore service of observation, search, survey and diver support. Typically controlled from vessels or sea platforms, operators use live video transmitted from the submersible's on-board cameras to control operations in seas ranging from the tropics to the North Atlantic.

Customer Requirement
Integral to the design of a new range of submersibles, technology was required by the manufacturer to provide connectivity for multiple signal types, from Surface Vessel to Subsea Vehicle, using very few fibre cores in what can in some cases be very long umbilical cables of over 4 kilometres. Signal types included analogue video from the submersible, data control to the submersible for operator control and operation, control relays, audio and Ethernet for computer communications.

The customer brief was for AMG Systems to design a transmit and receive communication system which would:

  •  Provide fibre redundancy in case of fibre cable breakage.
  •  Transmit:
  •  8 analogue video feeds
  •  16 bi-directional RS232/RS485
  •  Gigabit Ethernet
  •  Provide up to 16 i/o contacts for sensors, alarms and switching of connected equipment
  •  Deliver lag-less and loss-less (uncompressed) video to the control station.
  •  Allow operators to configure serial data types dynamically.
  •  Meet stringent safety standards.
  •  Ruggedised to operate reliably within temperatures between -20°C to 70°C.
  •  Transmit all signals across specific operator defined CWDM frequencies to allow interoperability with other third party devices utilising other frequencies.
  •  Provide a unified network Management interface for all the communications.

The challenge
There were four key challenges:

  1.  Equipment at the ROV end needed to be accommodated within a clearly defined small space which required a very compact form factor and low heat dissipation.
  2.  Wide temperature differential between surface water and subsea conditions required the equipment to operate within a wide but fast changing temperature range.
  3.  Interoperability between the plethora of different types of on-board equipment that the submersibles could be fitted with.
  4.  Real-time transmission of data and video, essential for accurate remote operator control in a very demanding subsea environment.
Site Schematic
Site Schematic