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International Marine Contractors Association

www.imca-int.com

Guidelines for

Installing ROV Systems on Vessels or Platforms

IMCA R 018

May 2013

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is the international trade association representing offshore,

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is the international trade association representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies.

IMCA promotes improvements in quality, health, safety, environmental and technical standards through the publication of information notes, codes of practice and by other appropriate means.

Members are self-regulating through the adoption of IMCA guidelines as appropriate. They commit to act as responsible members by following relevant guidelines and being willing to be audited against compliance with them by their clients.

There are two core activities that relate to all members:

Competence & Training

Safety, Environment & Legislation

The Association is organised through four distinct divisions, each covering a specific area of members’ interests: Diving, Marine, Offshore Survey, Remote Systems & ROV.

There are also five regional sections which facilitate work on issues affecting members in their local geographic area – Asia-Pacific, Central & North America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and South America.

IMCA R 018

The need for guidance on installing ROV Systems on vessels or platforms was identified at an IMCA annual seminar. As a result this document has been prepared following extensive discussions with ROV contractors and vessel owners and operators.

www.imca-int.com/rov

The information contained herein is given for guidance only and endeavours to reflect best industry practice. For the avoidance of doubt no legal liability shall attach to any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained.

© 2013 IMCA – International Marine Contractors Association

Guidelines for Installing ROV Systems on Vessels or Platforms

IMCA R 018 – May 2013

1 Introduction

 

1

2 Glossary of Terms and Definitions

2

3 ROV Classification

 

3

3.1 Class

I – Observation ROV

3

3.2 Class II – Observation ROV with Payload Option

3

3.3 Class

III – Work Class

ROV

3

3.4 Class IV – Towed and Bottom-crawling Vehicles

3

3.5 Class V – Prototype or Development Vehicles

3

4 ROV System Layout

 

4

4.1 General

4

4.2 ROV Deployment Method

4

4.3 Launch and Recovery System (LARS)

5

4.4 Umbilical Winch

 

5

4.5 A-frame/Handling System

5

4.6 Hydraulic Power Unit

6

4.7 ROV Control Room/Cabin

6

4.8 Stores

6

4.9 Workshop

 

6

4.10 Deck Space

6

4.11 Headroom

7

4.12 Tool/Skid Handling Requirements

7

4.13 Water Drainage and Oil Reclamation

7

4.14 Handling System Control Stations

8

4.15 Access and Egress

 

8

4.16 Emergency Recovery of ROV

8

5 ROV System Services

9

5.1 Power Requirements

9

5.2 Communications

10

5.3 Air Conditioning

10

5.4 Low Pressure Air Services

11

5.5 Fresh Water

11

5.6 Seawater Cooling

11

5.7 Fire Alarm Integration

11

5.8 CCTV

11

5.9 Survey Sensor Requirements

11

5.10 Miscellaneous

11

6 Operational Requirements

12

6.1 Sea State

12

6.2 Load Path and Deck Loading

12

6.3 Regulation and Classification

13

7 References

14

1

Introduction

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on the installation of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) System, or Systems, on to vessels and/or platforms. It is not intended to be a definitive guideline; instead it is intended to assist vessel and platform owners to understand the outline requirements of installing and mobilising an ROV System, i.e. to highlight some of the questions that may need to be asked. It can also be utilised in discussions with ship and platform owners, designers and fabricators/builders when build specifications are being prepared.

There are wide variations in the complexity and requirements of ROV Systems, ranging as they do from small observation class ROV Systems weighing perhaps 10 tons, through to large and complex trenching ROV Systems which might weigh hundreds of tons. Therefore it is important to discuss ROV installation issues with all the relevant stakeholders at the earliest opportunity.

In the context of this guidance document, the term ROV System is used to define the ROV and all of its required equipment such as the launch and recovery system (LARS), the tether management system (TMS), the control cabin, the workshop cabin, the umbilical winch as well as the ROV (the vehicle) itself. Where the lowercase ‘system’ is used in this document, this refers to the sub element of the ROV System, e.g. the hydraulic system or electrical system, etc.

Whilst the main body of this document describes the issues that may arise during the installation for a work class ROV System on to a vessel or platform, the principles outlined are applicable to all classes and variants of ROV.

The guidance is intended for use by:

vessel and platform owner/operators;

vessel and platform designers;

ROV contractor representatives;

client and contractor staff who prepare bid documents and contracts;

installation and rig managers;

vessel and ROV managers;

vessel designers and builders.

2

Glossary of Terms and Definitions

For the purpose of this document the following terms may apply:

AUV

Autonomous underwater vehicle

ATEX

Directive on equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX – Appareils destinés à être utilisés en Atmosphères Explosives)

CCTV

Closed-circuit television

Client

Company or organisation for which the work is being carried out

DP

Dynamic positioning

DSV

Diving support vessel

GA

General arrangement

HP

High pressure

HPU

Hydraulic power unit

HUET

Helicopter and underwater escape training

ISO

International Organization for Standardization

LARS

Launch and recovery system

LIM

Line insulation monitor

MA set

Motor/alternator set

MODU

Mobile offshore drilling unit

PDU

Power distribution unit

PPE

Personal protective equipment

PPM

Planned preventative maintenance

RAO

Response amplitude operators

RCD

Residual current device

ROV

Remotely operated vehicle

ROVSV

Remotely operated vehicle support vessel

SCR

Silicon controlled rectifier

SWL

Safe working load

Splash zone

The sea surface where the ROV may be partly but not fully submerged

THD

Total harmonic distortion

TMS

Tether management system

ROV contractor

Company or organisation delivering ROV services. Note: Not to be confused with a freelance operator within the ROV crew

ROV System

The ROV together with its applicable LARS, TMS, umbilical, etc.

Vessel contractor

Company or organisation providing marine platform from which the ROV System may be deployed and operated

3

ROV Classification

The term remotely operated vehicle (ROV) covers a wide range of equipment and no single ROV System can be described as ‘typical’. Not only are there numerous ROV designs and classifications, but the same basic ROV ‘tractor’ can be modified to carry out a wide range of different tasks. Within this guidance, however, ROV Systems are considered to be unmanned vehicles (rather than manned submersibles which are subject to separate requirements).

The following is based upon IMCA R 004 Code of practice for the safe and efficient operation of remotely operated vehicles – and provides a brief description of the high level classification of ROV Systems in use today.

3.1 Class I – Observation ROV

These ROV Systems have a small, compact vehicle, which can be fitted with camera/lights and sonar only. They are primarily intended for pure observation, although they may be able to handle one additional sensor (such as cathodic protection (CP) equipment), as well as an additional video or stills camera.

3.2 Class II – Observation ROV with Payload Option

These ROV Systems have vehicles that are fitted with two simultaneously viewable cameras and a sonar as standard and are capable of handling additional sensors as payload. They may also have a basic manipulative (grabber) capability. They should be able to operate without loss of original function while carrying two additional sensors/manipulators.

3.3 Class III – Work Class ROV

These ROV Systems have vehicles large enough to carry extra sensors and/or manipulators as a matter of course without loss of functionality. Class III vehicles commonly have a multiplexing capability that allows additional sensors and tools to operate without being ‘hard-wired’ through the umbilical cable. These vehicles are generally larger and more powerful than classes I and II, and there is a commensurate increase in topside support requirements, as well as wide variations in capability, power and maximum depth.

3.4 Class IV – Towed and Bottom-crawling Vehicles

Towed vehicles are pulled through the water by a surface craft or winch. Although they do not necessarily have propulsive power they may be capable of limited manoeuvrability. Bottom-crawling vehicles use a wheel or track system to move across the seafloor, although some may be able to ‘swim’ limited distances in free-flying mode. These vehicles are typically large and heavy, and will require significant topside support requirements, and are often designed for one specific task, such as cable or flowline burial.

3.5 Class V – Prototype or Development Vehicles

Vehicles in this class include those still being developed and those regarded as prototypes. Special- purpose vehicles that do not fit into one of the other classes are also assigned to class V. This class includes autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).

4

ROV System Layout

4.1 General

An ROV System generally encompasses the ROV itself and the ROV deployment system or launch and recovery system (LARS), the ROV control room/cabin, and ROV umbilical.

Deck space for the total ROV System needs careful consideration, as not only is space needed for the ROV itself but space is needed for the stores, maintenance workshop, tool and skid handling requirements as well the ROV control room, the deployment system to be used and, if appropriate, the tether management system.

Issues regarding the ROV System layout are discussed below. A pre-mobilisation site visit will be helpful in determining the System location.

4.2 ROV Deployment Method

There are two general methods of deploying and recovering an ROV. Operational considerations and the location of the installation on the vessel or platform will determine which method is used.

Care should be taken to minimise the interference the launch and recovery of the ROV and its ancillary equipment has on other vessel/platform operations. Vessel or platform GA (general arrangement) drawings should be consulted prior to the installation of any ROV System, to assist with determining the optimum location(s).

4.2.1 Over the Side Deployment

This type of deployment is cost-effective and frequently used, both for launching stand-alone ROVs from vessels of opportunity and as a permanently installed handling system on an ROV support vessel (ROVSV). An A-frame lifts and luffs outboard the ROV, generally with a tether management system (TMS), and lowers it into the water. As the ROV is not generally assisted when entering the splash zone, the main limiting factor for this type of deployment is weather and/or sea state. Consideration should be given to the position of the vessel thrusters for this type of deployment.

of the vessel thrusters for this type of deployment. Figure 1 – An ROV being over

Figure 1 – An ROV being over boarded

4.2.2 Moonpool/Cursor Deployment

In this type of deployment the ROV enters the water through a moonpool and runs down guide rails or wires in conjunction with a cursor. This technique can be more stable and can still be used in rougher or higher sea states, as the ROV is guided through the splash zone. Such equipment is more complicated and therefore more expensive, and is normally a permanent feature.

Figure 2 – An ROV descending into a moonpool 4.3 Launch and Recovery System (LARS)

Figure 2 – An ROV descending into a moonpool

4.3 Launch and Recovery System (LARS)

The ROV LARS should be located such that there are no obstructions below or immediately adjacent to the launch and recovery site which might restrict or impede operations.

On vessels with dynamic positioning or multiple thruster systems, care should be taken to minimise the risk of umbilicals and/or vehicles coming into conflict with such thrusters, if necessary ensuring that the thrusters are isolated during launch and recovery of the vehicle.

When ROVs are installed on platforms, particular consideration should be given to the location of the following:

Sub-surface platform inlets or outlets (caissons);

Other operations (for example, crane operations) conducted from the platform;

Any ‘batter face’ on the platform, i.e. a non-vertical face that angles outwards from the deck. If the ROV launches from that face it could be liable to contact the jacket members at the waterline.

4.4 Umbilical Winch

For the vast majority of ROV deployment systems, the umbilical winch is located directly behind the A-frame or handling system (in many cases on the handling system grillage). Care should be taken to prevent personnel from working or passing under the loaded umbilical during ROV operations.

Consideration should also be given to the fleeting of the umbilical from the winch to ensure there are no restrictions in the movement of the umbilical en-route to the A-frame or handling system and that the maximum fleeting angle is not exceeded.

4.5 A-frame/Handling System

When selecting a location for the A-frame or handling system components, the following should be taken into account:

It should be located in such a way that the ROV can be launched from the intended location;

There should be no overhead obstructions which might impede the movement of the ROV deployment system;

The operation of the A-frame/handling system should not impede the operation of life-saving equipment and/or lifeboat launch.

4.6

Hydraulic Power Unit

When locating the hydraulic power unit (HPU), the following should be taken into account:

Positioning of exhausts and vents such that they remain clear and are not located where they could pose a risk to personnel;

Routing of electrical power and hydraulic hoses to and from the HPU.

4.7 ROV Control Room/Cabin

The ROV is operated, or piloted, from the ROV control room, or cabin. ROV control rooms can be built into ISO standard (dimension) freight containers, or form part of the permanent installation on a vessel or platform. As the ROV operators will be spending a great deal of time in the control room, it is very important that adequate welfare facilities are provided and the room is as comfortable as possible. It should be noted that whilst the dimensions may conform to ISO standard freight containers, the reality is that units are extremely specialist and subject to various international rules and regulations.

Where the controls are housed within a control room that is part of the platform or vessel, consideration should be given to the electrical and electronic equipment situated within the ROV control room. Air conditioning for cooling purposes will be necessary as the topside equipment of most ROV systems will generate significant heat; any other environmental constraints in the siting of the ROV control room should also be taken into account.

4.8 Stores

An ROV installation will require an area for storage of spare parts and consumables. The area required may vary in size depending on the size, type and class of the ROV and the operation for which it is being used. ISO standard freight containers are commonly used, but once again they are subject to various international rules and regulations.

4.9 Workshop

To carry out maintenance on an ROV System a workshop area will be required for tools, system maintenance and repair of equipment. Larger ROV Systems may require separate areas for electrical and mechanical/hydraulic maintenance. Although ISO standard freight containers are often used for workshop provision, the size of the workshop area required will depend on the size, type and class of the ROV and the operation for which it is being used. Consideration should also be given to the possible need for storage of hazardous substances which may be used in maintenance.

4.10 Deck Space

Sufficient deck space should be available for the ROV spread and its associated equipment. This deck space should be clearly marked on the general arrangement (GA) drawings. There should be consultation and agreement between the ROV owners and vessel/platform operators on what deck space should be made available, taking into account any other operational and engineering constraints.

Appropriate space should be provided for safe access and egress of personnel undertaking work on the ROV.

By way of example, a typical deep water rated (3,000msw) Class III work ROV System could require up to 130m 2 and have a deck load requirement of up to 140Te.

The illustration below shows an ROV and a TMS being worked on separately by the ROV crew. Note the ROV and the TMS have been separated in this illustration, demanding additional maintenance space.

Figure 3 – An ROV and TMS being maintained 4.11 Headroom Care should be taken

Figure 3 – An ROV and TMS being maintained

4.11 Headroom

Care should be taken to ensure that appropriate overhead clearance is available for ROV operations, including the following:

A-frame extension – A-frames tend to pivot about the outboard edge, causing the top cross member to describe a rising arc. In addition, some variants of A-frames can be equipped with telescopic legs which will further increase the height requirements during luffing operations;

Separation on deck (for maintenance purposes) of the ROV and TMS;

Fitting of tool skids or work baskets which will increase the height of the ROV;

Free passage of the umbilical cable (see Section 4.3);

Access above the ROV equipment and other items to prepare for rigging, or for inspection.

4.12 Tool/Skid Handling Requirements

Any special requirements for handling ROV tooling skids should be taken into account during installation, including the following:

Crane access for fitting of work skids, which may be underslung or of the ‘back-pack’ variety;

Proximity of tooling storage to ROV launch area.

4.13 Water Drainage and Oil Reclamation

For electro-hydraulic ROVs, arrangements should be made for the collection of any surface water that gathers in the ROV area and separation of any oil contaminants prior to discharge of that water. Consideration should also be given to any oil reclamation systems required, typically for permanent installations, including the following:

Minimum use of water separating filter cartridges with ROV hydraulic deck pack;

A three-tank oil cleaning (reclamation) type station – typically installed under the deck.

4.14

Handling System Control Stations

If fixed control stations are in use, the following points should be taken into account:

Visibility – ensuring the operator can see all equipment in use, and ensuring the control station is visible on CCTV;

Safe escape route from control station in case of emergency;

Easily accessible emergency stop buttons;

Availability of communication (intercom or radio – preferably voice activated) between the control stations and the ROV pilot in the ROV control room.

In some cases, the ROV handling system may be controlled using a wireless device (a ‘belly-box’), allowing the operator to move freely around the ROV area during the operation. In the case of platform and MODU installations, there may be occasional restrictions on the use of wireless radio devices due to the requirements for radio silence.

4.15 Access and Egress

There should be safe access and egress to all ROV equipment, control stations, workshop and stores. Particular care should be taken to allow safe access to areas such as winches, hydraulic pumps and motors, piping and cables runs.

4.16 Emergency Recovery of ROV

Consideration should be given to arrangements for emergency recovery of the ROV, should it encounter problems whilst subsea. Full procedures for emergency recovery activities should be available at the worksite and regular emergency ROV recovery drills should take place. The following points should also be considered:

Isolation of any vessel thrusters in the direct path of the ROV recovery;

Adequate and capable crane coverage to recover the ROV from depth, including any special equipment required for recovery operations;

Appropriate procedures and risk assessments should be in place for recovery operations.

5

ROV System Services

5.1 Power Requirements

A typical class III work class ROV System requires a 380-480VAC, 60Hz supply, although many modern ROV Systems can cope with a wider variation of incoming supply voltage. Where the vessel or platform has a higher supply voltage, installation of suitable step-down isolation transformers will be required to convert the host supply voltage to a lower voltage usable by the ROV system. The complex nature of an ROV, with sensitive electronics, survey and video equipment; working alongside motors and pumps, can impose limitations on its ability to cope with a poor quality electrical supply. Additionally, the length of the umbilical and the tether will have an effect on the supply voltage at the ROV. For this reason, the ROV System power distribution unit (PDU) is normally fitted with various tappings that can adjust the output voltage at the ROV and/or TMS.

Motors and hydraulic pumps on the ROV handling system may be able to cope with instability in the host power supply; whereas the ROV control room instrument systems and the ROV itself may be adversely affected.

If the vessel or platform power supply is sufficient in quality and frequency stability, and can provide sufficient current, it may be possible to power the ROV control room instruments directly from the electrical distribution switchboard of the vessel or platform. Alternatively a separate power source may be required.

5.1.1 Power Supply Quality

The following technical issues affecting power supply should be considered:

Voltage fluctuations – for steady load conditions the voltage at the bus bars of the main switchboard should be within 97.5% and 102.5% of the nominal system voltage. For transient conditions these values should be in the order of +20% and -15%, with a recovery time not exceeding 1.5 seconds;

Frequency deviations – for steady load conditions the frequency at the bus bars of the main switchboard should be within limits of +5% and -5% of the nominal system frequency. For transient conditions these values should be in the order of +10% and -10%, with a recovery time not exceeding 5 seconds;

Harmonic distortion – current good practice is for total harmonic distortion (THD) not to exceed 8% for frequencies up to 50 times the fundamental, and of this no voltage at a frequency above 25 times the fundamental should exceed 1.5% of the supply voltage;

Notches and spikes – the main cause of these is silicon controlled rectifiers (SCRs) or variable speed drives. It is difficult to define notches and spikes as there are so many variables that can affect their amplitude and frequency.

Voltage and frequency fluctuations are clearly defined by the various classification organisations. Harmonic distortion and notches and spikes are more difficult for typical ROV equipment to deal with. In order to limit their effects on ROV instrumentation and systems within the ROV control room, for example sonar, monitors, computers, etc., it is advisable to ensure that a ‘clean’ supply is available.

5.1.2 Vessel Mains Supply Frequencies

In general a ‘clean’ 60Hz power supply is required for the ROV control room. If necessary an optional motor/alternator (MA) set or rotary converter may be used to provide a clean supply for the ROV system.

However, if the vessel supply frequency is 50Hz (normally associated with a supply voltage of 380VAC or 400VAC; and in some circumstances 690VAC) an MA set or diesel generator with a minimum rating of 250kVA (for a work class ROV system) will be required to supply the ROV control room. If a static converter is considered for the provision of a 60Hz supply, it is important that its suitability is established by testing prior to installation and mobilisation. The LARS HPU can normally be supplied from a vessel 50Hz supply, albeit at a reduced output rating.

ROV power distribution onboard a 50Hz vessel is a special case. Some of the factors that should be taken into account are as follows:

Available deck space to host alternative supply options;

Design of MA set, motor rating, alternator rating, containerisation;

Availability of a suitable supply for an MA set;

The number and complexity of ROV systems onboard;

The requirement for a backup supply, changeover switches, etc.;

Any requirements for additional distribution panels.

It is important when using a diesel generator or MA set that the output supply is provided with earth leakage protection. This can be in the form of a line insulation monitor (LIM) or a residual current device (RCD) and core balance transformer. An insulation fault should be indicated by an audible and visual alarm either in the ROV control room, vessel bridge or platform control room.

Not all vessels have 440/480VAC supplies. It is important to ensure that the supply voltage is compatible with the voltage range of the ROV system. If not, the following alternative techniques may be considered:

Full system power motor/alternator (MA) set;

Full system power diesel generator;

Replace motors and transformers with others having the correct voltage rating.

Any diesel-driven generators should be appropriately certified as safe for use in the vessel or platform environment. Additionally, care should be taken to establish where the diesel supply is located, and to ensure, as far as possible, that fuel is moved from the main supply to the generator tank via a suitable isolation valve.

5.1.3 Electrical Power Cables

Electrical power cables should be of the appropriate standard and quality and should conform to any local regulatory requirements or satisfy the vessel classification society rules for cable and cable tray. Any cable glands used should be suitable for offshore use.

5.2 Communications

Communication is an important part of ROV operations and both the operating personnel and the equipment itself should have access to appropriate communication channels. Two important issues to consider are:

Two-way communication between the ROV control room and any positioning or survey sensors fitted to the ROV, enabling accurate positioning of the ROV and other important equipment in the water. Further communication links will also be required between the ROV control room and the survey equipment room;

Two-way communication between ROV control room and dive control when divers are working with or in the vicinity of the ROV;

Video links – camera feeds are critical parts of ROV operations. All operational personnel should have access to camera feeds, including the vessel bridge or platform control room.

5.3 Air Conditioning

Air conditioning should be supplied to all inside working areas, e.g. workshop and control containers. If these working areas are located in a ‘zoned’ area the air conditioning service should be ducted in from the vessel system.

5.4

Low Pressure Air Services

On a typical vessel or platform installation low pressure (general purpose) air (max. 7 bar) is made available for general purpose air driven tooling. More specialised pneumatic equipment used on an ROV system may have different requirements in terms of external air supply, which would need to be considered on a case by case basis.

5.5 Fresh Water

Fresh water supplies should be provided close to the ROV landing point for the purpose of washing down after use – this is a feature of the planned preventative maintenance (PPM) arrangements for most ROV systems.

5.6 Seawater Cooling

Some equipment on an ROV may require seawater cooling, for example the heat exchanger on a hydraulic power unit (HPU). Care should be taken to check the specification of equipment requiring a seawater supply.

5.7 Fire Alarm Integration

Where possible any outside working areas should be connected to the vessel/platform fire alarm system, including audio and visual warnings taking account of the typical high ambient noise when the ROV handling system is in use.

5.8 CCTV

Closed circuit TV cameras (CCTV) are generally employed to provide a remote view of the operational areas of the ROV installation. These cameras are generally viewed from the ROV control room, but it should be possible to integrate them into the vessel or platform CCTV system so that if necessary the ROV deployment and recovery can be monitored from the vessel bridge or platform control room.

5.9 Survey Sensor Requirements

An ROV System is likely to have survey sensor requirements, including the location and positioning of the ROV whilst it is subsea. Survey sensor requirements will depend on the ROV system type and operational project in which it is involved, and are usually supplied by dedicated survey contractors/departments that may have specific demands for the vessel/platform and ROV system.

More details on ROV survey equipment requirements can be found in IMCA S 016 Mobilisation checklist for offshore survey operations.

5.10 Miscellaneous

In Appendix 1 there is a suggested checklist that can be used to gather ROV System specific information as an aid to the vessel or platform owner having a better understanding of what is involved with the particular ROV System being installed.

It should be noted that in the case of platform and MODU based ROV installations, it may be necessary for ROV Systems to be compliant with local regulatory requirements on explosive atmospheres, for example the EU ATEX directive or the vessel’s classification society rules. Detailed coverage of this is beyond the scope of this guidance.

6

Operational Requirements

There are a number of operational issues which need consideration when selecting the location of an ROV System on a vessel or platform, including:

Sea state;

Load path and deck loading;

Regulation and classification.

6.1 Sea State

Sea state is generally described in terms of the significant wave height (Hs) in metres and the corresponding wave period (Tp) in seconds. Sea state operating requirements may range from a significant wave height (Hs) of 2.5m up to a Hs of 6.0m depending on the client, operating location and the type and size of vessel.

These Hs/Tp parameters can also be linked to the Beaufort Scale. Traditionally the Beaufort Scale sea state 6 has been used as a maximum permissible sea state for ROV systems. This sea state is usually defined by a significant wave height of Hs 4.25m and wave period of 8-10s. Launch and recovery of the ROV in a full sea state 6 could impart loadings of up to 2g on the ROV load path.

In addition to the wave height and period, the safe deployment and recovery of an ROV will also depend on several other interrelated factors, including but not limited to:

vessel heading;

wind speed;

wave direction and interaction;

surface currents;

visibility;

general weather forecast.

Assessing the weather conditions and associated factors is generally the responsibility of the ROV supervisor, who should assess all the available information before making the decision whether or not to conduct ROV operations.

6.2 Load Path and Deck Loading

The load path of the ROV System will include the ROV itself, the umbilical, the handling system and winch. When installing class III work class vehicles, which may be designed to carry underslung loads or ‘skids’, account should be taken of the increase in system weight caused by the payload. The launch and recovery of the ROV through the splash zone will cause dynamic loads on all of these components. These loads will also be transferred through sea fastenings to the deck and structure of the vessel or platform. It is critical that every part of the load path can handle the highest likely dynamic loads and that these dynamic loads are established for each part of the load path from the ROV through to the winch, including sea fastenings and the deck structure.

In order to fully establish the dynamic loadings, there should be close co-operation between the vessel naval architects and the ROV system supplier. The first part of this process will require the naval architects to establish the vessel characteristics or response amplitude operators (RAO) of the vessel.

Using the vessel characteristics at the required operational sea state, defined by the significant wave height and period, the dynamic loadings at the handling system sheave can be calculated for any specific vessel heading. In this way, the dynamic, or snatch, loadings affecting the ROV itself can be calculated for the crucial period when it is launched/recovered through the splash zone. These calculations should take into account any rules or criteria the certifying authority has made that apply to the ROV installation.

Vessel stability calculations may also be needed for larger ROV Systems as the weight could affect the stability of the vessel.

Once the location of the ROV System onboard the vessel or platform has been established and the maximum operating weather conditions have been agreed, the operational dynamic loads for the System can then be calculated.

The ROV supplier can then check that the entire load path of the ROV System is rated for the dynamic loadings. The attachment method to the deck and the supporting deck structure should also be checked for the above loadings by the vessel naval architect.

6.3 Regulation and Classification

All structural and engineering design of an ROV handling system should have been carried out in accordance with recognised rules, regulations, codes and standards; irrespective of its final location for deployment. Where the vessel/platform owner specifies that the ROV handling system should be in compliance with the rules, regulations, codes and standards of a given classification society, then that society’s rules, regulations, codes and standards should prevail. It should be noted that ROV handling systems are not normally built under conditions of class; however there are classification society documents which can be useful when designing such systems. Such documents include:

Lloyd’s Register; Code for Lifting Appliances in a Marine Environment;

Lloyd’s Register of Shipping; Rules for Diving Systems;

DNV Offshore Standard for Diving Systems (DNV-Os-E402);

DNV Standard for Certification No 2.22 – Lifting Appliances.

7

References

IMCA R 004 Code of practice for the safe and efficient operation of remotely operated vehicles

IMCA S 016 Mobilisation checklist for offshore survey operations

IMCA R 018

15

Appendix 1

Suggested ROV System Checklist

 

Measurement

Reference to Section in this Document

   

Description

Unit

ROV Contractor Information

Vessel Owner Requirements

Section 4 – ROV System Layout

ROV Deployment Method Over the side deployment – specific details Moonpool/cursor deployment – specific details

 

4.2

   

ROV (Including any TMS requirements) IMCA Class Manufacturer/Type Dimensions – Length, Width, Height Weight Power supply requirements

 

3

   

m

Kg

KVA

4.1

Umbilical Winch Manufacturer/Type Dimensions – Length, Width, Height Weight Power supply requirements

 

4.4

   

m

Kg

KVA

4.1

Handling System Control Stations Manufacturer/Type Dimensions – Length, Width, Height Weight Power supply requirements

 

4.14

   

m

Kg

KVA

4.1

Hydraulic Power Unit Manufacturer/Type Dimensions – Length, Width, Height Weight Power supply requirements

 

4.6

   

m

Kg

KVA

4.1

16

IMCA R 018

 

Measurement

Reference to Section in this Document

   

Description

Unit

ROV Contractor Information

Vessel Owner Requirements

ROV Control Room/Cabin Manufacturer/Type Dimensions – Length, Width, Height Weight Power supply requirements

 

4.7

   

m

Kg

KVA

4.1

Stores Manufacturer/Type Dimensions – Length, Width, Height Weight Power supply requirements

 

4.8

   

m

Kg

KVA

4.1

Workshop Manufacturer/Type Dimensions – Length, Width, Height Weight Power supply requirements

m

4.9

   

Kg

KVA

Water Drainage and Oil Reclamation Manufacturer/Type Dimensions – Length, Width, Height Weight Power supply requirements

m

4.13

   

Kg

KVA

Section 6 – Operational Requirements

Sea State Significant wave height Wave period

Hs

6.1

   

Tp

Load Path and Deck Loading Vessel Response Amplitude Operators (RAO) Engineering design Certifying Authority

 

6.2

   

4.3

Table 1 – Suggested checklist to gather ROV System specific information for use in discussions between vessel owner and ROV contractor