ASI Group

The Challenges of Underwater ROV Inspections in Winter

ROV Inspection Challenges

This time of the year, our ROV technicians face a lot of environmental challenges during their underwater inspections. Unexpected changes in weather, freezing temperatures and less than ideal settings can cause delays or impact the health and safety of a team. Thorough planning of a project is integral to not only the success of an ROV inspection, but also the well-being of our field staff.

So how do you safely reach an intake over a frozen lake?  Or handle wet equipment in below zero degree temperatures? Accessing a specific location surrounded by winter construction or other obstacles sometimes means you cannot simply deploy an ROV from a typical launch point.

How an airboat helped an ROV inspection

This season, one of our ROV teams had the challenge of reaching an intake located just below the surface of a frozen lake. In addition to getting to the location, the frozen water above the intake prevented access. The solution to this challenge was to reach the location using an airboat to ride over the frozen lake. Once at the location, the client pumped compressed air through the tunnel. This action broke up the ice from within and assisted staff in locating the intake.

ROV Inspection Challenges
An airboat was used to transport the ROV Team and their equipment to the site.

ASI’s Remotely Operated Vehicles can be customized with an array of sensors capable of 3D modelling, HD video, video stills, photogrammetry and acoustic imaging. In fact, our fleet includes ROV’s that can reach depths up to 800 meters and travel horizontal distances of 14,000 meters.

Two Seasons Blend – Winter and Construction

Another of our ROV crews recently had the challenge of working in freezing temperatures while setting up a control location on a snowy site in a major US city. In this situation it was important to outfit the control location, often a van or trailer, with proper heaters. Heaters may appear to be a simple solution but they are essential for keeping staff comfortable and electronic equipment in good working order.

Some may have heard the saying “There are two seasons; Winter and Construction”. However these days, construction can run throughout the colder months. So when access to a suitable ROV launch location was obstructed by surrounding construction activities, the solution was utilizing a man-basket for the launch and recovery of the ROV.

ROV Inspection Challenges
ROV launch using a man-basket

Our specially trained Engineers, Technicians and Project Managers are experienced in trouble-shooting the variety of challenges that can be faced during underwater ROV inspections. ASI is known for its leadership role in providing the viability of using ROV’s and has gained international recognition for research and development of remote technologies.

Contact us today to learn more about our underwater remote inspections, or click here to read more about our services.