Dual-role, deep water ROV opens new marketsVessel & ROV News // January 26, 2010
The Cougar XTi electric ROV can now go deeper.
A greater range of deep water applications is now possible with a new dual-role, 3,000m-rated ROV from world leader Saab Seaeye.
Technology in the new Cougar XTi electric ROV means the vehicle can go deeper, has a smaller launch system, a thinner umbilical, clearer interface, smarter fault diagnostics, easier configuration and tighter piloting.
Managing director, Dave Grant sees the innovative new vehicle opening up a whole new market for the concept of a combined inspection and light work-ROV.
“Operating to 3,000m, the Cougar XTi can perform tasks independently, or in support of a construction class hydraulic ROV,” he explained. He said it also brings important cost savings in deck space with a compact, single skid solution for the launch and recovery system (LARS).
Shrinking the LARS came from a breakthrough by Saab Seaeye engineers who managed to reduce the umbilical from a typical 32mm down to 20mm. The thinner umbilical not only significantly reduces the winch drum size, but offers considerably less drag in the water in strong currents. They achieved the reduction by boosting the voltage from 500V to 3000V with only one power line, rather than two, needed to feed the system.
The 800Hz high frequency power distribution system also cuts the size of the ROV’s on-board transformer by 80 per cent and improves the vehicle’s power to weight ratio giving an 80kg payload at 3,000m.
Other innovations include a simplified man/machine interface (MMI) for easier control. It also keeps the pilot in touch with the health of the ROV and warns of potential problems. Smart fault diagnostics gives the pilot a clear interpretation of a fault and the remedial action to be taken, including the ability to remotely isolate the failed component and keep the ROV working.
Each on board device – thrusters, lights, tools etc – is managed through an intelligent three mode distributed plug and go control system. The first mode controls the device; the second provides the diagnostics; and the third is used to channel software updates.
It is a software-driven concept that makes it quick and easy to reconfigure the vehicle for different operational roles, and changing task-specific tooling skids.
These tooling options can include manipulator packages, anvil and disc cutters, water-jetting equipment, torque tools, survey packages with camera booms, drill support and IRM tooling.
The Cougar XTi also has a new autopilot system that gives the operator more precise positioning of the vehicle by automatically holding depth and heading in much tighter parameters than ever before.
Fingertip manoeuvrability in every direction is achieved with six powerful brushless DC thrusters that give velocity feedback for precise and predictable control.
The Cougar XTi is a major upgrade of the long proven Cougar concept and includes breakthrough technology from Saab Seaeye’s flagship Jaguar electric work-ROV, along with systems developed by its parent company Saab Underwater Systems for military ROV applications.