Two innovative developments in ROV technology were launched by Saab Seaeye at Offshore Europe. One is a new smart-thinking Cougar-XTi ROV with a depth capability of 3000m and an ingeniously intelligent man/machine interface. The other a powerful new Panther-XT Plus ROV that is probably the fastest swimming work ROV in the world.
At over four knots, the Panther-XT Plus stands apart from other work ROVs. Its ten SM7 thrusters not only power the ROV along, but hold the vehicle steady in strong currents during work and observation tasks.
Panther-XT Plus - unrivalled for speed and work task capability
With a new design of front end and fitted with Schilling Orion manipulators, the Panther-XT Plus boasts a power to weight ratio more than twice that of its competitors.
This latest version of the very successful Panther series gives ROV operators a vehicle unrivalled for handling a wide range of work tasks in a compact light-weight package.
In the case of the Cougar-XTi, a clever new design of man/machine interface gives the pilot a much clearer idea of the operational state of the vehicle, including smart fault diagnostics that plainly display the problem and the remedial action to be taken - thereby eliminating the need for the pilot to interpret fault data.
Significantly, any failed component can be remotely isolated; so negating its impact on the overall system and ensuring that the ROV can stay working at its designated task.
Deployment of this new 3000 metre rated Cougar is made from a compact new design of Launch and Recovery system that uses an umbilical cable of just 20mm in diameter.
And as the ROV flies away, a new autopilot system will hold depth and heading in much tighter parameters than ever before allowing ever more precise positioning of the vehicle.
Seaeye Cougar-XTi - intelligent.
Both the Cougar-XTi and the Panther-XT Plus open up new markets for Saab Seaeye, already the world's leading manufacturer of electric ROVs. Each offer operators a work system that can be quickly deployed from a small vessel, winning important cost savings in deck space and manpower.
Operators will find in the 3000m rated Cougar an intelligent, combined inspection and light work-ROV that can be easily fitted with a variety of task-specific tooling skids, and only needs a very compact deployment system. It serves as an ideal deepwater backup vehicle to a full work class ROV, or as a standalone system in its own right.
And in the new Panther they will acquire a work-system which combines the capability of precision manipulative tasks whilst operating in high currents, all in a very compact and light-weight package.
Both ROV developments are set to maintain Saab Seaeye's lead position in the electric ROV market, where it already has a world-renown reputation for supplying systems to the oil and gas industry, defence forces, marine science and hydro engineering. Its parent company, Saab Underwater Systems, is itself a world leader in sensor systems, precision engagement systems, and remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles.