The new Saab Seaeye Leopard is claimed to be the most powerful compact work-class ROV in the market. It has 11 thrusters, unrivalled payload, and a host of advanced technology features. Aimed at the compact work-class market, the Leopard can handle more tooling, cameras and survey equipment than any other ROV in its class.
The minimal deck footprint of the Seaeye range is maintained with the combination of a 20 x 8ft single lift, A-Frame and winch launch and recovery system (LARS) and a 20ft control cabin for easy transport and rapid mobilization.
Its pack of eight horizontal thrusters and three vertical thrusters gives the Leopard exceptional thrust, powering the vehicle forward at over four knots, and enabling it to hold steady in strong cross-currents.
For the pilot, the vehicle's iCON intelligent control system gives clear and enhanced information whilst independently managing each device on the vehicle, including auto redundancy that will keep the ROV working even with multiple equipment damage.
The pilot will also find that iCON delivers better handling characteristics – including pitch and roll stabilisation for the best quality survey data and to allow stable flight even with large tools and sensors deployed.
Designed with the pilot in mind, the Leopard has other inventive features to make life easy for the operator in the field. For instance the networked design of the iCON control system has refined the main electronics pod into an intelligent power distribution and data hub, and re-located the brains of the system into sensors and actuators around the vehicle. This provides greater information for the user and makes maintenance far simpler and quicker.
This innovation also avoids the need to partially dismantle the ROV to reach its electronic heart. And it offers building-block simplicity for equipment changes along with remote internet access for upgrades and support.
The chassis has been designed with rapid reconfiguration and easy maintenance in mind. A large open payload bay within the vehicle allows for ample tooling and survey sensors to be installed rapidly on sliding trays. Its one tonne through-frame-lift capability and four point docking system for tooling skids allows more demanding payloads to be added.
The combination of new chassis design, iCON building-block concept and exceptional power, means that more interchangeable equipment can be fitted than ever before in a vehicle of this size. Operators can therefore use the Leopard for a wide range of work tasks including drill support, pipeline survey, salvage and deep water IRM.
First to order the Leopard is Australian-based Dive Works Subsea Solutions. It is the fourth ROV they have bought from Saab Seaeye in the last ten years. Managing director, Andrew Ford says: "We've found that even though we are a commercial diving and ROV services company, the industry is heading more and more towards using ROV's rather than divers."
"Over the past few years, more than half of our work has been for Falcon ROV services." He now says he has found a niche in his market for the new Saab Seaeye Leopard work class ROV.
Along with the Leopard's light footprint and ability to be mobilised within one-day, Andrew Ford sees Dive Works bringing the latest technology to its clients at a lower mobilisation and demobilization cost. He explains how the Leopard, at 27 tonnes for the full system, can be loaded onto smaller vessels, compared to 70 plus tonnes for other work ROVs. It is also more agile and precise to control, he says, thereby allowing better access to complex and delicate subsea structures.
Dive Works is focused on servicing the Australian oil and gas industry, and aim to bring the most advanced technology and methods to their clients, says Andrew Ford. "Our clients want a fast and reliable service and now with the Leopard ROV we can deliver this."
Dive Works is an Australian based commercial diving and ROV Services company, specializing in innovative subsea solutions to the oil and gas industry, government and water authorities and the marine and aquaculture industries.