WHAT IS AN ROV?
Underwater ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) are submersible, robotic vehicles, used to observe the depths of large bodies of water by operators from shore. Underwater ROVs are used in a variety of industries: Aquaculture, Search and Rescue, Military, Marine Biology, Oil, Gas, Offshore Energy, Shipping, Submerged Infrastructure, Ocean Exploration and more. (ROV INSPECTION SERVICES)
These underwater vehicles allow operators to capture footage during inspect port, harbor or vessel inspections, bring innovation to pipe inspections, locate underwater targets, and conduct water sampling or physical maintenance. By utilizing ROVs, these tasks are all able to be completed without the need for any costly divers.
HOW MUCH DO ROV INSPECTION SERVICES COSTS?
ROVs can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. It can be confusing to determine what is right for you. Spending more typically means adding capabilities, but does not mean it is necessarily a better fit for the job. How much you should spend on an ROV is heavily dependent on the expected typical usage and core task functions. You can begin by evaluating the most integral functions for your project and choosing the most economical package to fit those requirements.
To create an ROV suited for industrial settings, different builds can accommodate addons like USBL, DVL, environmental, and sonar sensors. These features provide enhanced automation, tracking, vision, and depth features, but can come with a high cost ceiling and aren’t always required for the project at hand. Navigation packages utilizing DVL and USBL can cost $20,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on range and precision, while implementing sonars can range from $6,000 to $300,000. Simple inspections in still water may not need these high end features, and would better benefit from lower cost basic packages, designed for getting underwater visuals quickly and easily.
There are different categories of Remotely Operated Vehicles. Mini and micro class ROVs are swimming cameras that are great options for fast and effective eyes underwater. These can range from a few thousand dollars to $40,000 depending on the sophistication of the model and addons. Inspection and Observation Class ROVs differentiate by equipping more advanced sensors, samplers, and tools, to expand into industrial applications. Their prices range between $15,000 and $250,000. Light Work Class and Work Class ROVs are large, crane deployed ROVs, typically with great depth capabilities (thousands of meters), powerful manipulator arms capable of construction, welding, and more. These ROVs are best suited for heavy industrial use, and range from $250,000 to millions of dollars, and often require specialized operation training, heavy support equipment and vessels.professional Divers and ROV Pilots/Technicians provide marine construction, underwater civil engineering, salvage/recovery, underwater inspections
There’s no need to choose between cost and quality. We can help you narrow the budget range by talking to our ROV team CONTACT INDUSTRY SPECIALIST
CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING ROV INSPECTION SERVICES
ROVs are incredibly versatile devices, capable of a wide range of tasks. Because of this, there are a variety of features and add-ons that can be extremely beneficial for some industries, and lackluster for others. For example, using an ROV for storage tank inspections in a controlled still-water environment would have drastically different needs than an open water Search and Rescue (SAR) Team. ROV INSPECTION SERVICES
- Intended TasksEvaluate what features are most important to your industry’s daily tasks. ROVs are capable of equipping addons such as environmental sensors, thickness gauges, positioning systems, sonar, cleaning tools, and more. Identify what is needed for your particular project, and then select the most cost effective appropriate model / package to fit those needs.
- PortabilityDepending on the amount of travel or operational maneuvering, such as carrying an ROV to the top of a water tank, it’s important to consider the form factor of an ROV. Mini ROVs can fit into a single case for air travel as a checked bag, and are light enough to be carried while climbing a ladder. Larger observation or work class ROVs may come with additional features, but could be completely unusable for remote work environments.
- ROV Control Through CurrentStill water environments like water tank inspections will have little to no current, making it ideal for mini ROVs to conduct inspections. For offshore or high current situations, more advanced observation class models are required for enhanced control through stronger currents.
However, it’s not just size or power alone of the ROV that determines its ability to work in current. An ROV that utilizes sensor fusion and will maximize its positioning capabilities through its intuitive software. Just like people, ROVs can work smarter, not harder!
- Water ClarityIdeally an imaging sonar would be on every ROV. It’s an incredibly helpful tool for most missions as it helps identify large objects from distances up to 120m (394ft), and provides clarity on objects through murky water. The reality is that imaging sonars can cost upwards of $20,000+, and not every project or application needs a sonar to be effective. In clear water, or if operations are in an enclosed area where it is easy to get visual references (such as under the hull of a ship or in a water storage tank), then you can likely conduct a successful mission without sonar.
- Depth RatingWorking at depths? Always check the ROV depth rating before committing to a purchase. If the main goal of an ROV is to inspect or retrieve deep sea assets like seismic nodes, ensure that the depth rating is adequate for the mission. Deep Trekker offers ROVs up to 305m depth rating and tethers up to 700m. Large Work Class ROVs can work to 11,000m!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ROV FOR YOUR INDUSTRY
- Aquaculture Typical usage within aquaculture includes net / mooring inspections and maintenance, mort pushing, and environmental sampling. Simple inspections can be completed with a basic mini ROV setup, but adding USBL positioning or Heading/Depth Sensors will help provide location information for points of interest. This creates a more robust inspection system and cuts down on dive times by offering exact positioning on breaches or other points of interest.
A grabber arm can also be implemented for object retrievals, or be used to utilize tools like net patch kits, mort diggers, or water quality sensors to build a dissolved oxygen profile. The DTG3 Package and PIVOT Smart are commonly used as a cost effective ROV solution for these tasks.
- Infrastructure (Civil Engineering)For dam, intake, bridge, and piling inspections, it’s important to understand the typical operating water clarity. If the water is relatively calm and clear, a general visual inspection can be completed using a mini ROV such as the DTG3.
If these inspections require more significant structure detail, or are being conducted in challenging environments (High current / murky water), it may be beneficial to purchase a more powerful ROV with sonar functions. The DTG3 Package or PIVOT Expert with M3000 sonar are most commonly purchased for civil engineering applications.
- EnergyFor Nuclear Power, internal tank inspections are often in clear water. Due to the inherent potential hazards when working with nuclear energy, having a precise visual is integral. Implementing high quality zoom cameras and enhanced 4K cameras are the key to successful nuclear inspections. Deep Trekker’s REVOLUTION ROV equipped with a 4K camera and zoom lens is a popular system for these types of inspections. ROV INSPECTION SERVICES
For Hydroelectricity, inspecting intakes or sluice gates for proper function may just require a basic visual. Mini ROVs such as the DTG3 can accomplish the inspection and can be the preferential option for working in tight spaces. Some dams with higher flow and murkier water conditions would be better suited for the more powerful REVOLUTION or PIVOT equipped with sonar. The DTG3 Package or PIVOT Expert with M3000 sonar are the most commonly purchased models for Hydro.
- Search & Rescue (SAR)Target Search and Identification missions are far more effective with an imaging sonar. Having a ROV that can also tilt the sonar is a huge advantage. This allows the operator to change the angle and optimize the field of view to fit any situation. However if budget constraints are an issue, an ROV without a sonar is still a helpful tool for missions, as it still provides a method to quickly deploy eyes underwater.
Beyond the search and verification of a drowning victim or evidence thrown overboard, ROVs can also assist with victim recovery. Using an ROVs grabber claw, the operator can latch onto and retrieve the target by pulling back on the tether. The ROV pilot also has the option to place a carabiner with a line onto the target. For more sensitive retrievals, teams can also have the ROV hold in place on the target, and deploy divers to follow the tether down for extraction.
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