Hawkes Remotes Inc. (HRI) today announced its initial product lineup, a family of three different ROVs which incorporates new proprietary fiber-optic tether technology and high energy-density batteries to enable range, depth, and deployment capabilities well beyond those of current-generation ROVs.
HRI's ROVs will leverage the company's newly developed SpiderOptic technology, which utilizes thin armored fiber-optic tethers that pay out as the vehicles move, reducing drag, improving performance, and eliminating the need for cumbersome ship-based support infrastructure. HRI's SpiderOptic cartridge systems will be available in single-use (disposable) and reusable configurations, and are designed to be easily and quickly swappable in the field. In addition, all HRI vehicles will be made available for full ocean depth, building on a suite of tested components developed for the Challenger manned deep sea submersible.
"SpiderOptic technology fundamentally changes the way ROVs move through the water," said Graham Hawkes, the Company's Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder. "By using thin tethers deployed directly from the vehicle, we will fundamentally alter the performance and efficiency of deep sea and long range deployments. This technology also gives HRI's ROVs a decided advantage in portability, enabling rapid response deployments and utilization from smaller ships of opportunity."
"When you look at the cost of ROV operations, it's driven primarily by the ship costs, not the actual ROV cost," added Jonathan Epstein, the Company's Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder. "Moreover, the capital cost for standard ROVs capable of deepwater work requires expensive TMS and deck gear. For a large percentage of subsea tasks, HRI's vehicles enable those costs to be eliminated or reduced by 80%, which will improve the economics for existing subsea businesses, while enabling new subsea applications and increasing the potential scale of ocean exploration by the world's research community."
Three ROV Models Optimized for Specific Applications
HRI is currently developing three different ROV models for launch in 2011. The Company's first vehicle, the U-11000, is scheduled for release in Q1 2011 and will be optimized for long-range survey, observation, and light intervention, making it ideal for remote inspection, repair and maintenance work (IRM) in commercial subsea environments as well as for a range of oceanographic applications. The U-11000 will have a range of as long as 20km from its launch point, allowing it to be deployed for certain tasks from shore or from an ocean platform instead of from a ship, further reducing cost of operations as compared to current ROV systems.
HRI's next two ROVs will be launched in the second half of 2011, and will include the T-6500, designed for a broad range of tasks below the launch point, and the F-11000, a hybrid AUV/ROV model, with up to 6 knots forward thrust and a large payload for sensory and survey equipment.