The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

May/Jun 2017


Drone-to-ROV wireless communications demo

UK-based subsea wireless automation provider WFS Technologies and USA-based marine rental equipment specialist Seatronics, Inc. have demonstrated drone-to-ROV wireless communications at a Subsea Internet of Things event in the USA.

The demonstration took place at Delta SubSea’s test tank facility in Houston, Texas, and was attended by representatives from Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP.

Seatooth wireless controllers were integrated with a Seatronics Predator II inspection-class ROV and a DJI, China, Inspire drone. Two-way data communications between the ROV and the drone were demonstrated while the ROV was submerged in a test tank and the drone flew overhead.

“We are helping our customers to drive down costs,” said Brendan Hyland, chairman of WFS. “Using proven subsea wireless automation deployed by inspection- and light-class ROVs, we are delivering improved asset integrity information at a fraction of the cost. This demonstration has opened the door to using drones to harvest sensor information from assets in shallow water.”

“Seatronics’ Predator II ROV has the ability to fully interface WFS wireless communication products with ease. There are many benefits in using the Predator II ROV system for this application due to its size, stability and flexibility of interfacing sensor packages over other solutions,“ said Euan Mackay, vice president, Seatronics, Inc.

Supreme marine cable protection from Elmeridge

Elmeridge Cables of the UK reports it has spent the past 12 months helping to develop Supreme Polyurethane, “the toughest and most resilient polyurethane on the market today”.

The company said that it was so happy with the results, from now on it will be using the new compound for all of its future marine and offshore cables.

“This product can be attacked with a sharp blade and remain intact, with very little or no damage,” said a spokesman for Elmeridge. “This will help our customers with less system down time by increasing the life span of the cable.”

Atlantas releases HD camera

Atlantas Marine, UK, has introduced its latest innovation, the new BREEZE HD high-definition underwater camera. 

BREEZE HD streams HD video from the ROV to the topside control panel over a single copper twisted pair, which removes the need for an expensive fibre tether upgrade, according to the company. The firm said the camera is compatible with almost all ROV systems and is compact and light enough to be mounted on even the smallest of vehicles. 

Atlantas Marine managing director Charlie Foll said: “This is an exciting development for Atlantas and indeed the underwater inspection market. A cost-effective HD camera with operation over a twisted pair has been in demand for some time and this is what we have managed to achieve with BREEZE HD.”

Cathx Ocean releases new point cloud technology

Cathx Ocean, the Ireland-based supplier of subsea machine vision systems, has announced the release of SOLID, a range of software tools that deliver local positioning, mosaic capabilities and real-time full colour 3D point cloud.

A spokesman said: “Last year, Cathx Ocean delivered more than 30 laser and imaging systems on commercial AUVs and ROVs. These systems provide real-time laser point cloud with sub-millimetre resolution and co-registered UHD or HD images. They are available in flexible configurations for small and work-class ROVs and AUVs including 6500-metre rated systems, and are fully integrated with Navimodel and Qinsy to provide real-time data visualisation alongside multibeam.”  

He continued: “Building on this success, the SOLID colour point cloud technology has been field proven with current Cathx Ocean customers. This new capability is based on extraction of position from images to allow 3D colour point cloud generation even where vehicle speeds of up to five knots are used. This allows traditional ROV operations to be conducted in a fraction of the time traditionally taken.” 





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