The Finnish Navy Research Institute is taking delivery of the highly successful Saab Seaeye Falcon ROV.
They liked the ease by which the Seaeye Falcon can be transported and deployed from a mother ship and its flexible operational capability.
This flexibility comes from the ROVs modular design that allows upgrades and additional equipment to be added and changed easily, even under operational conditions, and that power demands are moderate.
The Institute also liked that an operator finds it easy to control and manoeuvre, and that it can perform in hostile environmental conditions.
With over 120 vehicles ordered so far, the world-wide success of the Seaeye Falcon, left the Institute ‘impressed by the reference list of users that includes the UK Ministry of Defence, the US, Russian, Italian and New Zealand naval forces.
Its success in the defence world comes from a design that offers a compact yet powerful and highly manoeuvrable ROV which is ideal for rapid deployment from a small boat. It has been proven in a wide range of operational conditions, including search, survey, salvage, security, diver support and explosive ordnance disposal.
The operational flexibility that appeals to The Finnish Navy Research Institute comes from the ease by which standard accessories such as cameras, sonars and manipulators can be readily fitted. Also that custom tooling can be added in a simple bolt on under-slung module. The Finnish model has a Tritech super-seeking sonar and altimeter, together with an Ore ROV tracking system and single function manipulator.
Ease of customisation is made possible with a distributed intelligence control system that allows up to 128 devices to be connected together on a single RS 485 serial network. This senses whatever systems are fitted to the ROV - much like a USB port. It also eliminates the need for interface cards, making fault diagnostics easier and the vehicle lighter by removing the need for an electronics pod.
For finger-tip manoeuvrability under extreme operational conditions, including strong cross currents, the Seaeye Falcon has five powerful independent magnetically coupled brushless DC thrusters, each with velocity feedback for precise and rapid thrust control.
The core Seaeye Falcon comes complete with lights, camera and video options as standard including solid-state gyro, compass, depth sensor and a 450 metre umbilical. The deep rated 1000 metre version has built in fibre optics for high volume data transmission over its long umbilical, and the ability to use broadcast quality video cameras. It also has tilting variable intensity lights linked to its camera tilt mechanism for superior illumination when filming above or below the vehicle.
For defence operations and hazardous environmental conditions, the ROV comes with an optional IP68 waterproof surface control unit. The latest version is almost half the size of earlier units and much lighter. It has a fold out 17 inch flat screen and keyboard. The unit operates through a universal single phase, self-selecting AC input of 100 to 270 volts at 2.8 kW.
Formed in 1987, Fareham-based Seaeye is the UKs largest manufacturer of electrically operated ROVs. Recently it was acquired by Saab Underwater Systems, a world leader in underwater systems, with special focus on littoral, shallow and difficult underwater environments. The company focuses on sensor systems, precision engagement systems, remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles.
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