So You Bought an ROV. Now What?
What’s all the fuss about?
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) have been around for decades. In their early applications, ROVs and AUVs were mainly used for different underwater tasks such as locating shipwrecks or unexploded ordnance (UXO), where it would have been too risky to use divers. As the technology develops and the equipment becomes smaller and cheaper, the use of ROVs has multiplied in marine and oil & gas operations as well as for scientific and hobby use.
Today it is fairly common for ports to own an ROV, which can be equipped with a sonar, camera or thickness gauge for underwater check-ups. And more and more asset owners are interested in buying one. ROVs, as well as divers, are great for taking close-up pictures or samples from exact areas where there’s known damage or for observing other areas of interest. It is challenging though, to pinpoint the exact location or obtain a bigger overall picture using only an ROV. You really need a drive-by inspection to get visual 3D data of all your assets and the adjacent seabed.
How I get the best out of my ROV?
With an ROV, it’s easy to do a quick check-up. The equipment is housed in your own facility and is easy for your personnel to use, making a survey or diving company unnecessary. Now imagine you’ve done a comprehensive underwater survey of your assets and the 3D data is easily available through an online service. And let’s say there’s been a collision on the quay or there’s some object near the seaway. You can quickly put your ROV to work, take pictures of the damage or object, and upload those pictures into a 3D model with correct coordinates. If you want to know the extent of the damage, or if erosion is occurring, for example, you can monitor and save all your pictures online within the same remark. All the necessary information for enlightened maintenance decisions can easily be found. The synergy is gained from leveraging the advantages of both technologies and using them hand-in-hand in everyday maintenance.
You’ll realize immediate, tangible benefits:
1. Specific coordinates in the 3D model guide your ROV straight to the location of interest for close-up pictures, saving time in trying to find the right spot.
2. Do regular check-ups of specific areas and save the data to an online platform, such as GISGRO. You’ll save time by storing all the information in one place.
3. Monitor the changes in order to plan maintenance operations at the right time. You’ll save money from unnecessary repairs or unexpected incidents.