The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
21st June 2021
Forum Energy Technologies, USA, has announced that its light work-class remotely operated vehicle Comanche 38 has successfully completed sea trials with Amundsen Science (Université Laval), Canada. The ROV has been installed on board the Canadian research icebreaker vessel CCGS Amundsen and will be supporting exploration of Arctic and sub-Arctic seafloor ecosystems.
The ROV’s deployment procedures and versatile capacity trials included undertaking video surveys, high-resolution still photography of benthic habitats, the collection of coral and other benthic fauna samples, as well as sediment sampling using precisely positioned sediment push cores.
Kevin Taylor, Forum’s vice president - Subsea Vehicles, said: “It is vital to the success of this research project that an operationally resilient ROV was chosen to ensure a reliable performance in the harsh environment and depths found in the Arctic. Our Sub-Atlantic Comanche ROV system has passed its sea trials, with its high thrust-to-drag ratio enabling it to operate in strong currents and its high specification with a seven-function manipulator arm successfully achieving complex underwater procedures.
“This is the second ROV we have delivered to Université Laval and we are thrilled it has passed its sea trials and the organisation is now in a position to begin studying the deepwater corals and cold deep ecosystems of the northern Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay.”
The new Comanche ROV was manufactured at Forum’s facility at Kirkbymoorside, Yorkshire, UK, and replaces the company’s previously utilised Super Mohawk ROV.
Since 2003, CCGS Amundsen has spent more than 2500 research days at sea and accommodated over 1800 scientists, technicians, students and professionals from over 20 different countries. The Covid-19 pandemic has postponed some of its current work until next year.
Primarily funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation through Université Laval, the first multidisciplinary expedition of the new ROV this year will allow a contingent of scientists from national research teams to study the marine and coastal environments of the Canadian and Greenlandic waters.
“The Comanche 38 will become a flagship equipment of the CCGS Amundsen for many years to come. We anticipate that it will be used in support of several cutting-edge research projects that aim to better understand the biodiversity and productivity of fragile Arctic marine ecosystems,” said Alexandre Forest, executive director of Amundsen Science.