The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
Customised vehicle successfully takes on three demanding tasks in one go
Canada-based Dominion Diving has made big cost savings by customising its Saab Seaeye, UK, Cougar XT light work electric robotic vehicle and boosting its performance.
The resulting Cougar XT custom version can handle a tooling package normally possible only on a much larger hydraulic system – and take on three demanding tasks in one hit.
Founded 50 years ago, Dominion Diving, based on Canada’s Atlantic coast, provides subsea services and has a reputation for finding imaginative ways to fulfil demanding tasks.
Matthew Lohnes, president of Dominion, explains how the Cougar XT’s power and design flexibility allowed his company to readily enhance and boost the system: “We effectively turned the Cougar into a work-class system that could undertake tasks typically needing 100hp hydraulic tooling and perform three roles in one tooling package.”
He says the subsea intervention was to profile a manifold site using multibeam sonar, then operate a trash pump to excavate and clear sand and debris from the valve row, before engaging a torque tool to isolate the manifold and then operate a manipulator to turn paddle valves.
“In building the package we added extra channels to control different survey equipment, and built an enlarged skid to accommodate the tooling which included a Kraft (USA) Predator seven-function force feedback manipulator and a torque tool,” he says.
Faced with a new one-tonne payload, Dominion added an additional thruster to the Cougar XT’s six-strong thruster pack.
The result was a very compact system that undertook all three tasks whilst operating successfully in currents of 2.5 knots and working with exceptional manoeuvrability in a confined space, says Lohnes.
The Cougar XT is a proven compact 2000-metre rated electric vehicle that is able to handle a variety of task-specific skids with different tooling options that can be easily bolted on and changed as needed.
Lohnes concludes by stating that the flexibility and performance of the customised Cougar XT meant the job was completed on time and to budget.