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ROV System Operation

Tether Management Systems (TMS)

Schilling Robotics' ROVs can be operated with or without a tether management system (TMS). A TMS is generally required for operations where the ROV is required to perform long-distance excursions, as seen in field construction. In other applications where the ROV can be deployed in close proximity to the work site, such as drill support, it may be possible to operate without a TMS.

The TMS essentially decouples the ROV from the main steel armored umbilical which, due to length and overall weight, can restrict the capability of the ROV when this has to be dragged around underwater. The TMS also decouples the ROV from the heave-motion of the host vessel. This is beneficial in areas where high sea-states are commonly encountered.

The function of the TMS is to manage the ROV tether which transfers the power, telemetry, and video to surface through the umbilical. The tether is usually neutrally buoyant to negate the effects of drag on the ROV itself and to keep the tether clear of seabed structures.

We supply TMS systems as part of integrated ROV systems, or as stand-alone units for use with other third-party ROV systems. The XE™ can accommodate up to 1,500m of tether, enabling ultra-long excursions for applications, such as pipeline touchdown monitoring and deepwater drill rig anchor installation. Our HD electric TMS is designed for medium-duty work-class ROV systems which require a maximum excursion of 425m.

Launch and Recovery System (LARS)

ROV systems are deployed from a variety of surface vessels including drill rigs, ROV support vessels, platforms, and others. In each case, a launch and recovery system (LARS) is required to lift the ROV and TMS to deploy it over the side of the vessel or through the vessel moon pool. The LARS incorporates an umbilical winch, an armored umbilical, an A-frame (or similar), a hydraulic power supply, and operator control station for driving this deck equipment.

We provide standard LARS designs for the UHD™ and HD™ ROV systems. These can also be configured to suit customer-specific installation needs. This is a common requirement due to the variety of host vessels in the market, and we work very closely with the customer to develop optimal system configurations.

Heave compensation systems can also be supplied as an additional component of the LARS. This feature increases the ability to deploy and recover the ROV in higher sea-states. Heave compensation systems can be either active (hydraulic) or passive (mechanical), devices that dampen the effects of the vessel motion. This also reduces stress on the main umbilical and can extend its lifespan.

Control Consoles and Vans

ROV systems are controlled from consoles located on the host vessel, rig, or platform. Depending on the application, the control equipment may be integrated within a dedicated room on the host vessel. This is typical for dedicated ROV support vessels that are primarily utilized for ROV operations. An alternative is to situate the control consoles in a dedicated, road transportable van. Control van configurations vary based on customer requirements; however, typically a standard ISO 20-foot container is used to accommodate the necessary equipment.

The control room environment and design is a critical element of the entire system since this is the operations hub. We have invested in ergonomic research and custom designed control suites to optimize the comfort for operators who typically spend 12 hours a day in this environment. Equipment is mounted in a manner suitable for withstanding typical transportation and for optimizing the available space and comfort of the crew.