Bringing Subsea Exploration to the Next Level
The SRS FUSION ROV is a unique system in many ways of which one is the ability to operate in different modes. The out of the box FUSION is a highly capable tethered ROV system providing real-time feedback and interaction. Imagine a singular asset that can quickly transform between desired applications utilizing the same intuitive user interface. When FUSION was developed the core function was as a remotely operated (tethered) vehicle that would depart from the traditional approach to poor integration, compromise, and intuitiveness. From the ground up FUSION was designed to be an expeditionary class, intuitive, and tightly integrated system.
In tethered ROV mode FUSION provides real-time control and sensor data to the HMI. There are different operational modes including joystick control, control mode, and mission mode. The ultra-small diameter tether has minimal impact on the performance/capability of FUSION and the longer lengths benefit larger excursions. When operating in ROV mode the operator has full supervisory control and is able to determine the level of desired autonomy. Manual control with assistance in joystick mode or touchscreen automated control in control mode or “AUV” type mission mode all provided real-time sensor feedback. In ROV mode operators are also able to interact with optional devices fitted such as manipulators, payloads, or third-party devices.
FUSION is designed to increase operational efficiency and capability through intuitive controls and autonomy. Becoming a competent operator requires only minimal training/education. There are three (3) primary modes of operation.
In joystick mode, the operator has full manual control of the FUSION via the hardware joysticks. At any time, the operator can add in levels of autonomy including:
- Heading lock
- Depth / Altitude lock
- Roll stabilization
- Pitch stabilization and lock
- Station hold
A simple touch on the screen enables any or all the functions. Typically, joystick mode is used during deployment and recovery.
After deployment, the most common mode of operation is control mode. Once enabled FUSION enters system hold with station hold, heading lock, depth/altitude lock, and pitch/roll stabilization. The joysticks no longer control FUSION, but rather the onscreen controls. The onscreen controls include:
- Surge – forward/reverse
- Sway – lateral left/right
- Yaw – rotate
- Heave – dive/surface
- Go to marker
- Look at / orbit marker
- Return to home
- Course lock
When using the controls, the increments can be adjusted to the operator’s desired values.
Mission mode uses programmed paths created in the mission planner. FUSION follows the path designed at a desired velocity while providing real-time sensor feedback to the operator. At any time, the mission can be paused or aborted. When paused FUSION enters control mode enabling the operator to investigate targets of interest and resume to continue the mission.
The clear advantage of the tethered system is real-time feedback from the FUSION. Vast amounts of information, data, and imagery are available to the operator as well as control of a variety of tools/payloads. Onscreen or hardware controls are built in to allow the use of different manipulators, payload release mechanisms, and third-party equipment.