Forum ROV to support University’s renewables research
Forum Energy Technologies, Inc. has delivered a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to the University of Limerick (UL) to support its research into subsea inspection and intervention campaigns on renewable energy sector infrastructure.
Designed and manufactured in-house at Forum’s UK facility, the Comanche 2,000 metre observation class ROV was officially launched at the docks in Limerick City by Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD.
The Comanche ROV was selected due to its high thrust-to-drag ratio enabling it to operate in strong currents, typical conditions for the offshore renewables industry. The ROV is equipped to a high specification with precision positioning and navigation systems, camera and lighting systems and sonars. The systems will be used as a test bed for research to develop capabilities for inspection, maintenance and repair work on Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) infrastructure in the challenging strong wave and current conditions at MRE test-sites and offshore MRE sites in Ireland and further afield.
Researchers at UL’s Centre for Robotics and Intelligence Systems (CRIS) further enhanced the system with UL-developed advanced control software (OceanRings), precision navigation and flight control, state-of-the-art robotic imaging and sonar systems and fully automated manipulator systems.
The vehicle will be housed at Limerick Docks where experimentation, testing and demonstration will be carried out. It will also be mobilised on vessels at other ports in Ireland.
By Jake Frith
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