Modus Seabed Intervention today informed it had completed system integration and trialling of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) featuring capabilities and characteristics of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). This is one of the subsea industry’s first commercially available hybrid unmanned underwater vehicles, according to the company.
The system, developed in partnership with Saab, will be used in survey and inspection projects in the oil & gas, interconnector and offshore renewables sectors to support pre-engineering, construction support and life-of-field condition monitoring requirements.
The vehicle can be operated fully autonomously or as a tethered ROV. Whilst conventional AUVs are designed to remain in motion, the hybrid AUV features a thruster pattern that enables it to hover and operate with 6 degrees of freedom, providing a highly differentiated capability for inspection and light intervention applications, Modus said. The first vehicle is depth-rated to 1,200 metres, which can be upgraded to 3,000 metres to meet project-specific applications.
Modus and Saab have entered into a collaboration agreement focused on research and development to generate a road-map to define the future capabilities of hybrid AUV technology. Modus said it is heavily focused on full subsea residency for life-of-field support, with the autonomous vehicles remaining permanently in situ rather than being deployed from a vessel.
Jake Tompkins, Managing Director of Modus Seabed Intervention, said: “Our ongoing investments into subsea vehicle development, disruptive innovation and operating processes will ensure our customers can benefit from a differentiated approach to survey, inspection and intervention, providing cost effective, high quality performance.”
“The hybrid AUV development and our ongoing partnership with Saab demonstrate our commitment to remain at the forefront of the subsea sector through the application of advanced technology. We are consistently driving innovation to enable our customers to maximise operational efficiencies whilst meeting evolving industry requirements.”