As a company in a new market, we regularly receive many questions about our products and what is possible with them. Many questions correspond to each other, and we are now putting the most frequently asked questions on paper so that they can always be read by everyone.
Here are the most frequently asked questions arranged in categories!
What are the limits of an ROV?
How deep can the ROV go?
The DTG3 ROV is suitable for a depth of 200m (656′) and the REVOLUTION is suitable for a depth of 305m (1,000′). Every system we sell is tested in our pressure tanks to the depth for which it is suitable.
How long do the batteries last? Is there a Direct Power option?
Deep Trekker ROVs and controllers last up to 8 hours without being charged. The charging time for the DTG3 and Bridge controller is only 90 minutes, but the batteries can be charged to 80% in just 45 minutes. The controllers can be plugged into an electrical outlet during use to extend operating time by several hours.
REVOLUTION batteries recharge in 3 hours. REVOLUTION batteries are interchangeable so you can have a spare set charged to keep you operational throughout the mission. We also offer an overhead power module if you want to use the REVOLUTION continuously and power it from a 110-240 VAC power source on the surface.
What kind of camera is in the drone?
Our ROVs have a full color 4k-HD camera. Images are always readable in this quality!
Can I connect the controller to a larger monitor while I’m doing a dive?
The ROV’s handheld controller is equipped with a 7-inch LCD display. The high resolution and bright display provides a portable but high quality viewing experience for one operator. However, there are times when you may want a larger monitor to display video to a group of viewers. The handheld controller is equipped with an HDMI output, as well as Ethernet, SD and USB ports. This gives you the flexibility to connect to other devices. Alternatively, the ROV records video and photos to an SD card. The SD card can be easily removed and then connected to other devices for viewing.
Can I lift and lower the ROV by the cable?
The cable has a tensile strength of about 90 pounds, so lifting the ROV by the data cable is not a problem. You can lower and raise the ROV by the handle or cable; and pick up objects with the grab arm by pulling up on the handle.
How much (weight) can I lift with a grapple?
Grabbing and lifting objects underwater is a common application for Deep Trekker ROVs. There are a different ways our customers use our vehicles to lift objects. The first is to grasp the object and pull up on the handle. The pull of the data cable is 150 kg (300lbs), which is your limit for weight when you pull up on the cable. When you grab an object and swim with it using the ROV, the limitation depends on the size of the object. The DTG3 can lift up to about 1 pound and the REVOLUTION up to about 4 pounds. The last common method of salvaging objects is by holding a carabiner in the grab and hooking or tying the object to a line, using the line to salvage the object. The method is usually dictated by the object you want to recover. Then you can rely on the tensile strength of the cable as a starting point for maximum weight.
Can I add my own accessories, such as a neutral floating camera?
Yes, as long as the accessory is within 40 grams of neutral buoyancy it will not affect the ROV’s ability to maneuver through the waters. If an item is heavier the buoyancy will need to be adjusted for a neutral floating drone.
How does the ROV work?
What is the ROV made out of?
The underwater drone is made of several different materials, these are the most common:
- Carbon fiber
What is the patented Pitching System? There is a reason our ROVs are spherical, we use an internal semi-circular frame to hold the batteries and electronics for the ROV, which is connected to the outer shell. When the ROV is in the water, gravity holds the internal semi-circular weighted frame, we activate a servo motor, and our main thrust motors allow the outer shell to rotate a full 180 degrees. This is what our patented pitching system does, and it offers unparalleled maneuverability to pilot the ROV in tight spaces. The camera is independently mounted, so you are able to turn 270 degrees no matter what direction the ROV is going.
How is it powered?
We have designed a completely portable system by placing lithium-ion batteries inside the ROV and controller. This internal system eliminates the need to bring a power supply!
Does the ROV record video? Can I connect larger monitors? What is the quality of the video? Can I stream the footage live?
Deep Trekker ROVs take high definition video and 8 megapixel photos on an SD card that is on board the handheld controller. The controller also has HDMI, Ethernet and USB outputs that can be used to display the video on larger monitors, on laptops and to live stream the footage. The footage can be streamed live through internet-connected devices using broadcast software (many options available!).
What sensors are on the drone?
In addition to integration of possible error messages, the following are in the standard equipment of one of our ROVs:
- Heading (compass)
- Water temperature
- Pitch (angle of the drone; vertical)
- Roll (angle of the drone; horizontal)
- Camera angle
- Battery level
What are the best conditions for inspecting with an underwater drone?
How does the ROV perform in murky / dirty / dark water?
ROV cameras see as well as a human eye does underwater. If the water is extremely murky, you will have to rely on other means to navigate and perform the inspection. Sensors for heading and depth can tell you in which direction you are moving through the water, which is useful for reaching a particular goal, but these sensors do not tell you your position. Acoustic technology such as USBL Positioning can tell you where you are underwater, but the user will not be able to visualize what is underwater. The best tool for operations in murky water is sonars. We strongly recommend equipping a sonar with an ROV when operating in murky water to effectively address this problem.
How much light is there on the ROV?
All Deep Trekker ROVs are equipped with shadowless, dimmable LED floodlights. These lights are highly efficient to minimize the impact on battery life when turned on. We offer additional lighting options for dark, enclosed missions where sunlight cannot reach or for during night operations. The DTG3 comes standard with 1000 lumens of light and the option to have up to 5400 lumens. The REVOLUTION comes standard with 8,400 lumens of light and can be equipped with up to 11,800 lumens.
What is the maintenance?
Simply rinse the ROV with clean water if it has been in salt water, and keep the batteries charged. Since there are no dynamic seals to grease or parts to replace regularly, there is very little maintenance. Should the drone get dirty we always recommend rinsing it well, and the cable too! This can be done with water, and possibly with soap or chlorine.
How well does the ROV do in current?
This is a common question, but the answer is not as simple as a number or a specification. The answer depends on the application. In general, ROV inspections and surveys can be divided into two main categories: swimming to one point or a thorough evaluation of an entire area. When an ROV swims to a single point, it can catch more current because it doesn’t matter what escape route it takes to get there – as long as it reaches the goal. There are tools to help guide you, such as USBL Positioning Systems, Imaging Sonars or even Heading and Depth Sensors. The DTG3 ROV can withstand up to 2 knots of current to reach a target, while the Revolution can withstand up to 3 knots of current.
When conducting a thorough examination, the DTG3 has active yaw stabilization, automatic heading and automatic depth determination that help it maintain its course and stay on a stable path, but without the additional motors found on the Revolution, the best way to examine with the DTG3 is on slack tide, in currents from 0.5 knot to 1 knot. With propellers in 6 different directions and increased power, the Revolution is able to face the current in any direction and perform thorough evaluations in currents up to 2 knots.
It is important to note that the amount of rope deployed affects the ROV’s ability to fight the current. The more rope that is deployed, the greater the area of water that the ROV can drag. Deep Trekker’s battery-powered ROVs use thinner diameter (5mm) ropes than top-driven vehicles – this is beneficial because the drag effect increases exponentially with thicker ropes. The DTG3 is most effective when it has less than 300 meters of cable deployed. At more than 300 meters, it is the best option to work in lower flows. The Revolution is well suited when the drone has been deployed even up to 800 meters.