Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Increased Automation for RMMV Recovery Operations
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-041
Topic Title: Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Increased Automation for RMMV Recovery Operations
Proposal No.: N131-041-0568
Firm: Barron Associates, Inc.
1410 Sachem Place
Suite 202
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901-2496
Contact: Jason Burkholder
Phone: (434) 973-1215
Web Site:
Abstract: Shipboard launch and recovery of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) is a challenging engineering problem requiring careful design and integration of hardware and software. The seaway-induced relative motion between the host vessel and ROV is often difficult to measure or model, which may render automatic control approaches ineffective and force reliance on manual operation by a very small number of highly trained operators. The success of a launch or recovery is thus highly dependent on the proficiency and alertness of the operator(s). Recovery of the RMMV from the LCS Independence variant is especially challenging and labor-intensive. The overall objective of the research is to provide increased recovery automation to enhance safety and repeatability while reducing operator workload. Barron Associates, Inc. and its research partners propose a tiered research and development program that assesses and quantifies the degree of recovery automation achievable with varying levels of cost. A simulation environment that includes vehicle, flow, and recovery system models will be developed. The team will follow a building-block approach that first maximizes the autonomy that is achievable within the basic confines of the existing infrastructure. Based on the simulation results, innovative modifications will be considered within given cost and technical risk guidelines.
Benefits: Military and commercial ROVs are becoming widespread in many industries. A large potential commercial customer base includes engineering survey companies, geology survey companies, hydrographic survey companies, pipeline companies, oil companies, archaeologists, marine salvors, port authorities, treasure hunters, universities, research institutions, submersible operators, and environmental consultants. As commercial ROVs become more readily available, commercial opportunities will continue to increase.