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Inspecting and Evaluating Underwater Assets

Inspecting and Evaluating Underwater Assets


Regular asset inspection is imperative for organisations to prioritise repairs, maintenance and replacement schedules, saving both time and money in the long run.

Being on top of your assets allows organisations to prioritise repairs, maintenance and replacement schedules saving both time and money in the long run.

However, inspecting submerged infrastructure can be incredibly time-consuming, expensive and even dangerous. Underwater vehicles like Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and utility crawlers offer a convenient, cost-effective and safe solution for a variety of assets.

With submersible robotics operators can safely and regularly inspect from topside or shore at a moment’s notice. Spectis Robotics can supply innovative solutions to meet these challenges. In this article, we discuss the benefits of Deep Trekker’s DTG3 and DT640 remote inspection vehicles, which can both be outfitted with a Cygnus Thickness Gauge.

What is the DTG3?

Deep Trekker’s world-class robots are used by thousands of customers around the globe; for structural inspections, marine surveys, sample collection, search and recovery, security checks and more. The DTG3 ROV allows for advanced power, heightened capabilities and high-end performance at a breakthrough price.

Even in rough conditions, the DTG3 provides stable, clear and crisp video. Operators can manipulate viewing by variable intensity main and auxiliary lighting for optimal inspections even in dark and low light environments. Direct sonar integration and an automated station holding capable of rotating 270 degrees allows the DTG3 to provide advanced stability.

The easy-to-use handheld controller, with 7” daylight readable screen, allows operators to get a clear underwater picture - even in sunny conditions. The DTG3 controller also gives users the flexibility to store data on either an SD card or USB memory stick, and video can be output via HDMI, or ethernet for external viewing on larger monitors.

With standard hybrid power, the DTG3 allows for more than 12 hours of battery operation. Custom-built Pelican cases make travelling straightforward - users can wheel through an airport, train station or job site with ease.

The DTG3 Navigator Package adds a precision thruster and an advanced Ultra Short Base Line (USBL) acoustic positioning system to allow for position tracking, precise depth holding and manipulation capabilities.

What is the DT640?

The DT640 is a three-wheeled magnetic crawler with bespoke silicon and rubber wheel covers to aid traction and to avoid damaging the surface it is driven on. The magnets within the wheel hubs allow the vehicle to "stick" to a steel or ferrous surface, driving vertically or even upside down on the steel. The back pivot wheel is able to turn 360 degrees, allowing the vehicle to turn in one position with zero turning radius, making it extremely manoeuvrable.

Built with anodised aluminium and utilising our innovative magnetically coupled drive design, the crawler requires minimal ongoing maintenance. Its rugged construction makes it suitable for the most difficult of tasks and environments. Various payloads can be attached to the DT640, including sonar, HP cleaning tools and UT thickness meters.

Need to perform an inspection at a difficult to reach location along a steel surface like the hull of a ship or in a vertical shaft? Stick the DT640 Magnetic Crawler to the ferrous surface and drive along it instead of setting up scaffolding, fighting underwater currents or having to use man access in confined spaces. The DT640 MAG provides a safe and efficient alternative to ship hull and steel structure inspections. Its onboard HD camera and live-video feed provides operators with instant visual inspections in hard to reach and often impossible to access environments.

What is the Cygnus Thickness Gauge?

Cygnus' industry-leading ultrasonic thickness gauge can be integrated onto Deep Trekker vehicles, allowing operators to evaluate the thickness of the steel on tanks, hulls or other metal surfaces without needing diver intervention or asset draining.

Placing the Ultrasonic Test (UT) probe on the surface provides an accurate measurement even through marine growth or coatings. The probe is able to take readings through up to 1/2" or 12mm of soft marine growth or coatings to take a reading of the steel. The data is then displayed and recorded via Cygnus software on a laptop.

This is a great tool for corrosion surveys for Underwater Inspections in Lieu of Dry-docking (UWILDs) on Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO)s or vessels, as well as for steel tanks and pipes and other surfaces. Integrate the ultrasonic thickness gauge to understand the extent of corrosion at different spots along the hull or pipe as part of a proactive asset integrity maintenance plan.

Remotely operated inspection vehicles can reduce inspection costs and risk to personnel.

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE.

Published: 04-06-2021

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