The ROPOS System

The System

The ‘ROPOS System’ is a highly flexible system consisting of 4 configurable sub-systems. Each system is configured to best suit the operational goals, particular vessels, and users’ budgets.

The Vehicle

The versatile core of the ROPOS System, the ROPOS vehicle is a cutting-edge, world-recognized, science-oriented ROV that can dive up to 5000m.

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Launch & Recovery

Through either the system's crane-based LARS, or a ship's A-frame, the ROPOS Launch & Recovery systems allow the vehicle to be operated in up to sea state 6.

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Vehicle Control

Diving with ROPOS involves scientists, engineers, students, and ROPOS operators. Different control room setups provide flexible installation options depending on the vessel.

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Support Systems

Additional capabilities that can be added to the ROPOS system: Cable Laying, bio-boxes, sampling & measurement tools, surveying & mapping components, and more.

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The Vehicle

Today’s Remotely Operated Platform for Ocean Sciences, ROPOS, is the product of over 25 years of collaboration with world leading ocean scientists, engineers, and students who continue to push its limits through innovative and ambitious projects. From deep-sea hydrothermal vent exploration to the deployment and maintenance of ocean observatories, ROPOS has become known as the world’s most capable scientific submersible for its capabilities, versatility, efficiency, and the skill and professionalism of its operators

Technical Overview
ROPOS The Remotely Operated Vehicle for Ocean Sciences (ROPOS) is a 40 hp Science/Work Class Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) capable of operating at depths of up to 5000 m
Size and Weight 3.05 m (length), 1.64 m (width) and 2.17 m (height), 3393 kg
Speed 2.5 knot (forward max), 1.0 knot (typical transect), 1.0 knot (lateral), and 1.5 knot (vertical)
Sea State Sea State 6 (Using LARS heave compensation system)
Video Two HD Cameras, Six pilot and tooling cameras, 12.1 megapixel digital still camera and over 3700 watts of lighting
Manipulators 2 x Kraft Predator spatially correspondent 7-function with force feedback
Through Frame Lift 1815 kg with a 5:1 safety factor, tested to 3629 kg. Uses four point attachment for under-slung payload or skid interface
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Launch & Recovery

The ROPOS vehicle has three general configurations to best suit the operational goals and budget of our users. Each configuration is designed to allow for flexible deployment scenarios on a variety of vessel of opportunity. Since its first dive, the ROPOS system has been shipped throughout the world and mobilized on over 16 different vessels.

0 - 1000 meters

A live-boating configuration perfect for smaller vessels, the ROPOS “shallow” system is designed to take as little deck space as possible. With this system, the vessel must have a crane capable of launching and recovering ROPOS over the side. In this configuration, the ROPOS system requires less equipment and subsequently has a lower overall expedition cost. The vehicle retains its same core functionality.

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1000 - 3000 meters

This is ROPOS’ most frequently used configuration. In this mode, ROPOS uses an armored umbilical and is deployed through its own crane-based Launch & Recovery System (LARS). This configuration increases the sea state ROPOS is capable of operating at, up to 6. This mode also enables the vehicle to lift up to 4000lbs with its through-frame lift. The system does not use the vessel’s A-frame in this mode.

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3000 - 5000 meters

In its deepest configuration, ROPOS used a cage tether management system (TMS) which was fitted with 300 m of synthetic tether. The cage could be lowered down to 5000 m through the ship's A-frame. Primarily due to a lack of demand for this configuration, it is currently decommissioned. There is a refit plan in place for this configuration should the demand develop. The new configuration would use a top-hat TMS instead of the cage in order to preserve all of ROPOS' new functionalities.

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Vehicle Control

ROPOS can be installed so that the vehicle can be operated from one of two control room configurations: 1) From a ship’s lab or existing control room, 2) From ROPOS’ own 20’ container-based control container.

Operations from a Ship’s Lab

In its preferred configuration within a ship's lab, the ROPOS control room brings everybody involved in the dive together. Scientists, students, engineers, and ROPOS operators can all easily communicate face to face in an atmosphere of collaboration that enhances the quality and efficiency of all dive operations.

Operations from the Control Container

For ships that do not have lab space to house the control equipment, a control container can be placed directly on the ship’s deck. The control van is based on a 20-foot shipping container. In addition to the control and power equipment, it can house 2 pilots, 1 navigator, and 2 scientists.

Support Systems

The ROPOS System is a sum of numerous subsystems and components that work together to achieve users’ goals. In addition to the vehicle and its Launch & Recovery and Control systems, the vehicle also has a number of sampling, scientific tools, and utility apparatuses such as its cable-laying system “ROCLS” that can be added or subtracted to/from the vehicle to maximize dive outcomes.

Cable Laying & Connections (A)

  • Remotely Operated Cable Laying System (ROCLS) for laying cables up to 25km
  • During the same dive, lay cables and conduct other operations
  • Connect subsea extension cables to instruments quickly & easily

Sampling Equipment (B)

  • Bio-box for biological and other specimen samples
  • Core Tubes for sediment coring
  • 4Temp Sensor Probes for measuring temperature to 0.1 degree C accuracy
  • Suction Sampler for "vacuuming" samples into discrete 2L containers
  • Niskins for water sampling (4 units, each with 1.4L capacity)

Tool Baskets & Instrument Frames (C)

  • Deploy, recover, and maintain instrument frames with custom equipment
  • Deploy and recover tool baskets with all of your equipment & experiments

Survey & Mapping (D)

  • Reson Seabat 7125 Multibeam skid
  • Surveying using LOKI Kalman filter for geodetically accurate & repeatable positioning
  • Capability & experience executing photomosaic, sonar, and other mapping
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