Deep Drone

Phoenix International has successfully completed upgrades on the US Navy’s 8,000ft depth-capable remotely operated vehicle (ROV) deep drone, as part of a contract from the navy’s supervisor of salvage and diving (SUPSALV) office.

The multi-year contract involved the installation of a new umbilical, sonar, high-definition camera, LED lighting system and an updated frame, in addition to a new foam pack.

A new programmable logic controller (PLC)-based vehicle control system was also installed.

Aimed at increasing the vehicle’s bandwidth to make room for advanced sensors, the new system will provide spontaneous, accessible functionality and enable ROV technicians to solve general software-related challenges.

Furthermore, the PLC-based system integrates an extensive graphical user interface (GUI) for control and diagnostics with GUI screens.

"The PLC-based system integrates an extensive graphical user interface (GUI)."

Work in the programme started with the development of the basic control system using simulated digital inputs and outputs, followed by the assembly and lab testing of the complete system, including the vehicle control station, ROV-housed PLCs and maintenance van.

The ocean system tests were conducted on USNS Grasp (T-ARS-51) near Andros Island, Bahamas, and involved an exercise for the vehicle and its new control system.

The upgraded deep drone has now been placed back into a mission-ready status.

Image: The US Navy’s deep drone ROV. Photo: courtesy of Phoenix International Holdings, Inc.