Forum Subsea Technologies’ latest remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the XLe Spirit, has successfully completed sea trials in Norway.
The vehicle is the first of a new generation of electric observation class ROVs. It is the smallest in the new range, and powerful enough to perform subsea maintenance and repair work. It is ideally suited to the aquaculture market and capable of tasks such as net and tank inspection.
Working with its Norwegian partner, Innova AS, Forum tested the XLe Spirit at a fjord with a 500 m water depth. The standard equipment function testing was confirmed utilizing all ancillary equipment, including cameras, lights, altimeters and sonars.
The XLe Spirit benefits from an optional electric or hydraulic five-function manipulator arm. The self-regulating power feature compensates for tether losses ensuring a constant and stable power delivery to the vehicle, regardless of tether length. The trials follow a twelve-week assessment, which took place at Forum’s test tank in Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire, UK.
The vehicle is the first observation class ROV to utilize Forum’s Integrated Control Engine (ICE) to bring greater functionality commonly only found in larger work-class vehicles. The advanced control electronics pod fitted to all Forum XLe observation class vehicles enables superior connectivity and expansion capabilities compared to other ROVs on the market. Ethernet interfacing allows for seamless integration with other industry sensors.
The XLe Spirit incorporates a number of features to maximize its stability for use as a sensor platform, including regulated propulsion power and a wide range of auto-functions for positioning and flying.
“The XLe Spirit’s successful sea trials mark a significant milestone as we continue to bring the latest technology to the industry,” Kevin Taylor, Vice President of Forum Subsea Technologies, said. “The vehicle’s capabilities make it ideally suited to a wide range of operations in the oil and gas and aquaculture markets.”
“Our long history in the subsea sector enables us to understand the demands of our clients,” Mr Taylor added. “Following the comprehensive sea trials, we are already garnering interest in the XLe Spirit and we look forward to delivering these vehicles to the market.”