een as the most powerful ROV of its size in the world, its combination of 11 thrusters, unrivalled payload, and a host of advanced technology features won over DeepOcean, which itself is an innovator in providing subsea services.
“It’s a pioneering design from Saab Seaeye, a company with a track record of innovation,”says Rick Green, Regional Manager Netherlands at DeepOcean, “And will be a valuable addition to our fleet. Environmentally we wanted an electric vehicle, yet one with work class performance. For our application the Leopard gives us the equivalent capability of a much larger hydraulic work class vehicle – and its 11 thrusters means it can handle strong currents – and that’s important to us.”
He points out that with eight horizontal thrusters and three vertical thrusters the Leopard can hold steady in strong cross-currents.
Rick Green also likes the ROV’s inventive new chassis concept.
Its large open payload bay allows for ample tooling and survey sensors to be installed on sliding trays for rapid reconfiguration and easy maintenance.
It means that a survey-grade INS system can now be easily integrated inside the vehicle.
The combination of new chassis design, iCON intelligent architecture with building-block capability, and exceptional power, means that more interchangeable equipment can be fitted than ever before in a vehicle of this size.
With a one tonne through-frame lift capability and a four-point docking system for tooling skids, more demanding payloads can be added to the Leopard as needed.
Yet despite its extra capabilities, the total Leopard package is designed for easy transport and rapid mobilisation – by staying within a minimal deck footprint combination of 20ft x 8ft single lift A-Frame & winch LARS, and a 20ft control cabin.
Designed with the pilot in mind, the Leopard has many inventive features to make life easier for the operator in the field.
The pilot will find that the iCON intelligent control system delivers better handling characteristics – including pitch and roll stabilisation for the best quality survey data – and offers stable flight even when large tools and sensors are deployed.
The iCON architecture also gives clear and enhanced information whilst independently managing each device on the vehicle, including auto redundancy that will keep the ROV working even with multiple equipment damage.
Through iCON the main electronics pod has been refined into an intelligent power distribution and data hub, with the brains of the system re-located into sensors and actuators around the vehicle. This provides greater information for the user and makes maintenance far simpler and quicker.
Distributing intelligence around the vehicle avoids the need to partially dismantle the ROV to reach a central electronic heart and offers building-block simplicity for equipment changes, along with enhanced remote internet access for upgrades and support.
DeepOcean’s Leopard will be deployed aboard the MV Deep Helder, a new specially built 65 metre survey and IMR vessel due to be launched in June 2014.