Underwater Robotics With Embedded Computers

Data acquisition or DAQ is the process of measuring physical or electrical data such as temperature, pressure or voltage, usually consisting of DAQ hardware and a compatible computer system with pre-programmed software. The industry is open to hugely diverse applications and often goes unnoticed as products integrate into major industrial applications and infrastructure. Assured Systems supply various systems that easily allow our clients to monitor, measure, control and analyse key analog and digital inputs or outputs from a standard PC.

We work particularly closely with American based Dataforth whose European activities are based at the Assured Systems HQ.  They specialise particularly in industrial data acquisition and combine our own in-house systems with their sophisticated acquisition products to provide a comprehensive system to simple and complex applications throughout industries worldwide. We assisted one of the world’s leading subsea engineering firms to provide a data acquisition unit and accompanying control system for Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) primarily for installation and maintenance duties on offshore wind turbines.

It’s a crucial application that is likely to become ever-more present with current wind turbine usage expected to be between 17 and 19% by 2030, whilst leading countries like Spain (59.6% of consumption) Denmark (39.1% of consumption) and China (110,000,000 homes) highlight its potential whilst global estimations project that within 25 years over 75% of global energy consumption will come direct from harvested wind power.

Benjamin Tallent,
Marketing Executive

It’s a crucial application that is likely to become ever-more present with current wind turbine usage expected to be between 17 and 19% by 2030, whilst leading countries like Spain (59.6% of consumption) Denmark (39.1% of consumption) and China (110,000,000 homes) highlight its potential whilst global estimations project that within 25 years over 75% of global energy consumption will come direct from harvested wind power.

The project required an acquisition and control system to monitor the subsea vehicle’s tool performance and provide appropriate outputs to control the vehicle itself. The control inputs are taken from a control panel from a topside control cabin and operate the remote device as it dives to depths of 300m from the ocean’s surface so hence the product had to not only be diverse and easily integrated but most importantly reliable. Two systems- one top side and one subsea were hence required in the form of the Dataforth MAQ20, to provide a necessary range of digital and analogue inputs communicating over Ethernet from the control cabin to the sea floor. Off-the-shelf hardware components coupled with in-house HMI software using the OCP (Open Communication Platform) provided within the MAQ20 were enlisted to overcome all of the considered complications. Its modular nature permits easy expansion for further developments and changing requirements in an advanced, fast-paced industrial environment. With a wide temperature operating range of -40°C to 70°C the system used specifically considered the harsh environment that the system would be used within- as with a lot of our clients- and had to be suitably rugged, whilst narrow delivery times and solid technical support reinforce the use of the systems. In-house HMI software talks to both systems over Ethernet using industry standard Modbus protocol running on our EC700 embedded PC’s fitted to the rear of the RM1905 19” rackmount monitor with a touchscreen interface for easy operation for the control cabin.

All of that culminates to the supply of frontline technology for a solution to an extremely technical and demanding application that highlights the durability and competence of Assured Systems. They have the ability to produce various embedded and integrated systems in-house for applications across industries whatever the environment with all necessary interfaces and communications available to produce a system for whatever your application with technical support right through from manufacture to execution and the systems performance with unrivalled product ranges to ensure you get it right.

Source: Assured-Systems