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08-12-2020

Ship inspection and proper matching of accessories!

Written by Karst Beens

We help you with the ship inspection of all kind of ships. Boats, ships, vessels… All different words for the Hull inspection we can provide for you and your company!

Maritime shipping remains the primary method of transporting billions of euros worth of goods. In such a huge industry, safety is incredibly important. Using an underwaterdrone / or ROV, operators or drivers, can safely and efficiently carry out inspections of underwater vessels.

 

WHY IS A SHIP INSPECTION SO IMPORTANT?

The inspection of seagoing vessels under water is important for many reasons;

  • Save money and time by understanding what is happening under your vessel without the intervention of divers.
  • Make the best use of the necessary dive team time by doing a pre-inspection with an underwater drone.
  • Proactively manage your fuel efficiency by performing regular ROV inspections of your hull to determine optimal cleaning and painting schedules.
  • Regular hull inspections are a way to prevent damage and corrosion on and under the boat.
  • Carrying out hull inspections can provide insight into whether or not the structure and load-bearing capacity of your vessel is at risk.
  • Underwater hull inspections confirm that your hull is free of barnacles and other marine life.
  • Provide peace of mind!

 

 

WHAT IS AN UNDERWATERDRONE?

Underwaterrobots or ROVs are underwaterdrones that enable users to read up on serious environmental problems. Deep Trekker ROVs are portable, affordable, high quality and easy to use, providing solutions for various underwater projects.

As innovators in the underwater ROV industry, H2O Drones can provide the right robotic system for your needs. Commercial grade, low maintenance and durable, H2O Drones’ underwater robots are easy to transport and deploy.

As the official certified distributor of the Netherlands and Belgium we are the ideal step in between, we have a lot of expertise and experience. With this we can help everyone in a tailor-made way, assess situations and determine what the right next steps are.

Deep Trekker offers two brand new, innovative underwater drones: the DTG3 and the REVOLUTION.

Intelligent and advanced, the DTG3 is the best in its class. The mini underwater drone is built to allow operators to quickly deploy and visually inspect within the underwater environment. With depths of up to 200 metres, the battery-powered vehicles last up to 8 hours! The highly manoeuvrable underwater robot is transported in a single case and is built to last. The camera provides excellent real-time 4k live video, even in low light. In addition, it is also small, and can enter all corridors, locks and pipes that are 500mm in size.

The REVOLUTION is a completely improved ROV. With a larger payload and advanced stabilisation systems, the REVOLUTION is a serious vehicle. With a depth of up to 300 metres, the underwater drone has a wide range of comprehensive sensor integrations. The patented rotary head allows operators to rotate the 4K-UHD camera, manipulators and sonar while remaining stabilised in the water.

 

 

 

HOW CAN AN UNDERWATER DRONE, HELP WITH A SHIP INSPECTION?

Hull inspections are important, but how should they be carried out? Throughout the shipping industry, dry docking (putting a ship on dry land) is usually used for hull inspection. The procedures established by the regulatory authorities and the companies are valid and exist to ensure that the ships operate properly and safely. However, taking your vessel completely out of the water when it is not needed can cost a lot of time and money. From a financial, structural and inspection point of view, it is important to inspect your hull while it is in the water in between mandatory dry dockings. With an underwater drone, you can quickly get eyes underwater and inspect hulls in an instant – without expensive and time-consuming dry-docking.

Although divers also offer an alternative to drydocking, there are potential drawbacks. In addition to the financial responsibility of hiring a professional diving team, the timing and scheduling of this diver can be prohibitive. Perhaps most importantly, an ROV keeps people out of harm’s way. Keep divers out of small, awkward or treacherous conditions by using an underwater ROV for vessel inspections. This adds an extra dimension to safety, because if there are no people underwater, there can be no accidents with people underwater. A simple principle, but there is still a lot of profit to be made here.

There are also several accessories offered by H2O Drones to maximise your ROV for underwater hull inspections.

  • The Cygnus thickness gauge allows you to evaluate the thickness of steel on hulls, tanks or other metal surfaces. The probe presses down on the surface of the hull, taking an accurate measurement of the fouling on the outer layer caused by dirt and marine life.
  • The auxiliary cameras add more angles to your 4k videos. The customised auxiliary cameras allow users to switch between the main camera and auxiliary camera for viewing and recording. This saves operating time, which saves money.
  • Auxiliary lighting adds 1,000 lumens to the total illumination capacity of the DTG3. The additional illumination is important when inspecting in dark or deep water.
  • Sonar options provide a way for operators to gain visibility in dark or murky water, where cameras and lighting are not enough.
  • The laser scaler option provides operators with a reference to measure the size of a potential problem. This is a useful tool for more accurate estimations and allows for a better approach to precise solutions.
  • The use of underwater drones also has applications that extend to entire shipping fleets. With ROVs, port authorities and border security officers are able to conduct an efficient hull inspection on each individual ship to pass through their waters without the need for a human to enter the water, or the high cost and delay of dry docking.

 

THE BEST TIPS FOR INSPECTING OCEAN-GOING VESSELS IN THE WATER

When ROVs are shipped, they are modified to float neutrally in the water. That said, by using the small metal plates attached to the drone’s handles, you can add more weight or remove weight to set your drone to positive or negative buoyancy. Remove one plate from under each handle of the ROV to set your device to positive buoyancy. This means that when the device is in the water, it will no longer stay at the depth you drove it to, but will slowly rise in the water to the surface. This can help when performing a hull inspection to make sure you stay close to the hull of the vessel and don’t sink to the bottom.

Once you have your underwater drone set up for positive buoyancy, consider adding the track wheel accessory. (No, these are not the same wheels as those on our pipe and tube systems). Caterpillar wheels replace the top handles of a drone. As it hovers towards the hull, wheels are attached so that you can drive it along the hull. By pointing your camera directly upwards, you can now get a clear view of any abnormalities in your hull, with the best close-up view! All this can now easily be done without risk of damaging the drone or the ship.

Lighting, lighting, lighting! By adding extra lighting to your ROV you can ensure that you can carry out a complete hull inspection anywhere and at any time of the day. Enjoying a night cruise and accidentally hitting something? Want to make sure the hull is in order before leaving your boat in the water overnight? Auxiliary lights on your ROV can ensure that no matter where you are or what time of day it is, you can complete your inspection on time.

Should the water be too murky as well as dark? Is visibility 0 even with lighting? Then use the Oculus sonar. This enables inspection in the least visible places. A direct connection to the controller means that a good image can still be obtained and data processing is easy.

The DTG3 ROV 4K-UHD camera has a 320-degree field of view in front, behind, above and below. However, sometimes you need to take a shot directly from the side. You can equip your ROV with side-facing cameras. Then you simply drive the ROV by the hull and capture images from different vantage points to get an accurate picture of the state of your vessel.


Using underwater ROVs for ship inspection has many advantages. Check out our social media pages to always stay informed about what we can do for you, and what the benefits are of underwater drones!

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