Werum Software & Systems has equipped the deep-sea diving robot "ROV Kiel 6000" developed by the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel (IFM-GEOMAR) with the test data management system DAVIS-ROV. ROV stands for Remotely Operated Vehicle. ROVs are underwater robots operated by a person on a ship. Werum engineers installed the DAVIS-ROV application at the end of July in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, on board the German research vessel Sonne.
DAVIS-ROV is ideally suited for operations on diving robots. The research data collected by ROV sensors is telemetrically provided in real time to the control room on board of the mother ship using an optical fiber cable of 6,500 meters in length. In the control room the data is acquired online and then saved, visualized and managed.
The installed IT system is a variant of Werum's established product DAVIS-SHIP, which is used, among others, on the German research vessels Sonne, Maria S. Merian, Meteor and Polarstern. DAVIS-ROV has already proven its capabilities to the full in practical use on the deep diving robot QUEST of the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences - MARUM, a marine research institution affiliated with the University of Bremen, Germany.
An essential characteristic of DAVIS-ROV is its high adaptability to varying mission objectives of the ROV.
Depending on the nature of the task to be completed, the user may equip the diving robot with different measuring instruments, which can then be made known to DAVIS-ROV with some simple configuration settings. The display masks for the visual presentation of measurement data can also be adjusted variably according to individual requirements and the task at hand.
With the "MapViewer" feature DAVIS-ROV provides a tool that can visualize the exact position of the diving robot relative to the mother ship on a map. Task-specific maps or special purpose maps, such as based on bathymetric data from the customer's own measurements, can easily and effortlessly be integrated into the system.
With a diving depth of 6,000 meters the "ROV Kiel 6000", which carries a price tag of 4,7 million Euros, is worldwide the most advanced underwater device of its kind and capable of reaching up to 90% of the ocean floor. Oceanographers can now explore and study the world's oceans with unprecedented precision and range and thus gain new insights into issues such as climate change, raw materials, alternative energy sources and CO2 deposition. The underwater robot maps the ocean floor using cutting-edge digital observation technology. Two mechanical gripping arms are provided to assist measurements and experiments in deep-sea environments and to take water, rock and sediment samples.
After one year of development time and thorough and extensive testing the underwater robot "ROV Kiel 6000" has still to pass a deep-sea diving test, which will take place on the Sonne in the South Pacific in August. In October the robot will then be sent on its first real mission, taking it out on the Maria S. Merian into the Central Atlantic off the Canary Islands.