Research Vessel Integration

All ships, whether dedicated oceanographic research vessels, or commercial vessels for hire, need some degree of customization when planning for the deployment of ROV Systems or Oceanographic Instrumentation.

Items associated with the installation and deployment of an ROV from a ship are:  winch placement and its structural foundation, A-frame and/or Launch-Recovery system and its structural foundation, and in the case of a two body oceanographic ROV system a specialized crane.  Additional items are the ROV spares and/or workshop, which could be either built into a ship or installed onboard in the form of an ISO shipping container.  The ROV control suite must be installed onboard, again either built in or installed into removable ISO containers.  Cabling and interconnection between all of these systems and to the ship is a major component of the installation planning.  Other peripheral details such as the ROV acoustic navigation system, and integration with the ship’s available navigation sensors must also be considered.

Having participated in the planning, installation, and deployment of ROV systems on nine different vessels, and combined with an academic background in Naval Architecture, Gregory Designs has gained a broad level of experience with the installation and deployment of oceanographic equipment from ships.

Two recent projects of note are the semi-permanent installation of the HERCULES ROV system onboard the E/V NAUTILUS.  The arrangement of all ROV related items was planned in large part by Gregory Designs.  The structural foundation for a large Dynacon 421 direct-drive winch system was designed and analyzed to meet USCG CFR requirements for strength.  A new A-frame was commissioned while the ship was in a Turkish shipyard.  The conceptual design of that A-frame was our responsibility.  Most recently, a new ROV hangar and workshop was constructed onboard using a simple but effective ROV carriage system.  That carriage system, as with the A-frame, originated in concept by Gregory Designs and proceeded with the detail design and construction by various partner engineers and fabricators.

In 2013, a state of the art Multibeam Mapping system was installed on the E/V NAUTILUS.  A Kongsberg EM-302 was purchased and installed by the Ocean Exploration Trust.  Todd Gregory provided the conceptual design for the 3-Dimensional shape of the underwater “blister” fairing.  Additionally, Todd designed the mounting details for all underwater instruments such as the ROV tracking system (USBL transducers), ADCP, and Sub-Bottom array.  The successful fabrication, installation, and testing were completed in Spring 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey and off the Mediterranean coast of France.