Insights: Part 2 -- Tips For Operating A ROV In Strong Currents

Welcome to another edition of "Insights." These posts are intended to provide guidance on how to operate your ROV during challenging missions and in a variety of situations. Following up on Part 1 of our first "Insights" blog regarding 9 tips for operating a ROV in strong currents, here are more guidelines to consider:

Know when and how to live boat (deploying from a boat that is not anchored).
• When live boating, run the ROV downstream, working it left and right, letting tether out as needed.
• If you are working in current more than 3 knots, live boat with the engine facing upstream and deploy the ROV from the bow downstream. Hold on to the tether and move the boat to position the ROV into the right spot.

Keep lines of communication open between key participants.
Maintain tight communication between the pilot and tether handler.
• Make sure the tether handler communicates to the pilot as tether is deployed into the water – usually every 5m.
• The tether handler needs to be focused on what the pilot needs them to do; there is usually no time for delays.

Don't forget about the turns counter.
• Pay careful attention to the turns counter. Tether has memory – for each turn you put in the tether, it will try and counter, which puts torque on the ROV. This will make it difficult to fly.

Know your tether types.
• Select the right tether combination. VideoRay offers one negatively buoyant and two neutrally buoyant tether types to accommodate various conditions and configurations. If you're operating at depth, use a length of tether with a neutral PPT. It is thinner and will provide much less drag on the ROV. Negative tether can also be used, but too much in the water will drag the ROV down.

Stay calm and if you can't beat it, go with it.
• Sometimes the best you can do is to position yourself upstream of your target and fly the ROV like a kite in the stream. You will still have some limited lateral and vertical control to hopefully get within visual or sonar range of your target.
• Be soft in your wrist and tough in your flight. If you fly with fear the current will win every time.
• Try not to be in midwater if you don't have to be. If it's impossible, then sit on the seabed and use the camera and yaw function of the ROV.
• Stay calm and do not forget to wear your personal flotation device.
Have questions or need more information? You can email Rob Cornick, Dedicated Technical Support Analyst with VideoRay, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have specific topics you'd like us to cover, let us know. And if you've discovered a few of your own "insights" that you'd like to share, we want to hear from you! You can post a comment our LinkedIn page or you can reach us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

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