Divers are few and the tasks often hazardous, so the subsea industries are looking for
the greater use of unmanned submarine vehicles. Photo: Geir Johnsen/NTNU/Aurlab
(September 28, 2015) Soon it may be easier to design, plan and carry out infrastructure operations in deep water. The EU project called “SWARMs” aims to achieve this by integrating autonomous vehicles such as ROVs and AUVs.
In the years ahead, the number of infrastructure operations carried out in deep water will increase.
Oil and gas production is moving into increasingly deeper waters, offshore wind turbines and wave energy plants are being installed, and minerals on the sea floor are waiting to be exploited. This will mean an increased need for robots that can construct, maintain and monitor the necessary infrastructure.
Reducing the need for divers
Many subsea tasks are currently performed by human divers. But divers are few and the tasks often hazardous, so the subsea industries are looking for alternatives. The solution lies in the greater use of unmanned submarine vehicles such as AUVs and ROVs.
The only problem is that currently these vehicles are tailored for specific tasks, and this explains why they are difficult to operate and expensive to use.
Making it simple
The EU project SWARMs aims to simplify the design, planning and implementation of subsea infrastructure operations.