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Diver Assistance with Submersible ROVs

Rachel Doornekamp   |   February 19, 2020

Submersible remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and commercial divers are truly the optimal team for completing underwater tasks. Combining the strengths of both divers and underwater ROVs creates a mutually beneficial relationship.

Divers

While it may not be obvious at first glance, commercial diving missions are not limited to exploration and recreation. The diving industry plays a much larger role in ocean exploration, infrastructure, aquaculture, military and salvage operations than what one might expect. Essentially anytime something leaks, crashes, sinks or catches fire in the marine world, commercial salvage divers are called to solve the problem. Without commercial salvage divers, underwater incidents can have seriously detrimental impacts to surrounding ecosystems and human health. Despite the associated risks and dangers, salvage diving operations are extremely important.

In addition to taking care of problems in the marine world, commercial divers also perform inspections and fix issues in various industrial situations. Nuclear power plants for example require consistent inspection to ensure structural integrity on submerged components. Structures like cooling tanks require regular inspection and cannot be drained for routine inspection.

With such a broad and potentially dangerous breadth of tasks, underwater drones can assist divers to maximize efficiency, effectiveness and most importantly - safety.

What are Submersible Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs)?

Remotely operated vehicles or ROVs are unoccupied, highly maneuverable vehicles. Submersible ROVs are simply ROVs that are able to investigate ocean depths or submerged infrastructure while being operated by someone on land or on a vessel. These ROVs allow pilots to take photo and video footage to investigate, inspect and explore underwater.

ROVs can range greatly in both size and price. Submersible or underwater ROVs are used in a variety of industries including military, search and rescue, ocean science, aquaculture, energy including oil and gas, shipping, infrastructure and recreational diving among others.

First tested in the 1960’s by the U.S. Navy, underwater ROVs have evolved into sophisticated, versatile vehicles. The benefits of modern ROVs include quick deployment, minimal maintenance, extended dive times, increased safety, high quality video and photo recording, easy to use, cost effective and access to confined areas.

Deep Trekker has two underwater ROV models; the DTG3 and the REVOLUTION . The DTG3 is an intelligent and advanced vehicle. The mini observation-class vehicle is portable and easy to use, allowing operators to quickly deploy and inspect underwater environments. Mission-ready with serious payload capabilities and advanced stabilization, the REVOLUTION is a completely re-imagined ROV. The patented pending revolving head allows operators to rotate the camera, manipulators and sonar all while station holding in moving water.

Pre Checks

Using an ROV to conduct pre-dive inspections can increase safety and efficiency, ultimately saving time and money.

The ROV can survey dive areas prior to sending down a human being, checking for any potential safety risks and determining the lay of the land. With an ROV, pre-dive checks are safe and quick - providing dive teams with a reliable way to confirm the safety of their mission.

Furthermore, a pre-dive check with an ROV allows operators to determine tasks before deploying a diver. Before a diver even dips a toe in the water, the ROV can be deployed to identify the area that needs to be worked on. Deploying an ROV before a dive allows stakeholders to see exactly what needs to be done and where, ensuring that all of the appropriate equipment is assembled and prepared before diving in. In doing this, divers can be fully equipped to fix underwater issues and business owners can accurately quote clients.

By conducting a pre-dive check, personnel have the opportunity to brainstorm solutions together. The diver does not have to independently assess the situation and come up with a solution all while operating on a limited supply of oxygen. With the pre-dive ROV check, teams can come up with the best possible solution while optimizing time and money.

Monitor Divers

Diver safety can be optimized with the use of an ROV. By monitoring divers from topside, operators can ensure safety and security for divers.

By piloting an ROV to monitor divers, those topside can ensure that divers are safe and following safety protocols. Real-time video observation allows any issues to be caught immediately with immediate emergency assistance if necessary. Whether open water or confined spaces, real time monitoring is incredibly beneficial for scuba diving safety.

Operating an underwater robot from topside also allows for the dive to be accurately recorded. Recording dives provides numerous benefits for dive teams and companies. Commercial diving companies can show the video to their clients to demonstrate their valuable and important work. Companies can also review dive footage to learn where improvements could be made to optimize operations. Finally, recorded videos can be used for training purposes at both dive centres and commercial diving companies to demonstrate specific diving procedures for students.

Diveable Control System

Deep Trekker ROVs have the add-on option of diveable control systems. Completely submersible and depth rated to 75m, the handheld controller allows divers to take the entire Deep Trekker ROV system beneath the surface with them.

The diveable control system provides divers with a useful tool to maximize their time underwater. Add ons like grabber arms, sediment samplers, and thickness gauges allow the ROV to perform underwater tasks. Using the diveable control system, divers can perform underwater tasks in tricky areas to avoid entering dangerous zones themselves.

Divers can send the ROV into a hazardous scenario or confined space before going in themselves. Divers can stay safe and completely avoid unnecessary risks by using the ROV in lieu of a human being. By using the ROV to check out a potentially dangerous space, divers can avoid tricky situations completely. Furthemore, sending the ROV into difficult spaces lets divers confirm conditions if they must enter that area themselves.

Allowing divers to work closely with an ROV can improve effectiveness, efficiency and safety. In addition to providing divers with a valuable underwater tool, the diveable controller lets divers check out dangerous spaces without having to go in themselves.

In conclusion, underwater ROVs provide numerous benefits for scuba divers as they conduct pre-checks, monitor divers and provide divers with a valuable tool to use underwater. Learn more about how commercial divers can benefit from ROVs or check out our ROV FAQs. Our team of industry experts is always here to answer any questions you may have, reach out today!

Do you want to take the leap and create an ROV package of your own? We can make a custom Deep Trekker package just for you. Talk to one of our team members today to get started.