Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) in Commercial Diving
What is ROV?
Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are tethered submersibles that are used in various applications. Unlike remote controlled vehicles for the land and air, ROVs are designed to work underwater. They are crewed by a pilot, copilot and tender from the surface control system, and do not require a diver. ROVs are built with cameras and various sensors- such as sonar- to navigate and capture real time images of various underwater structures, including oil platforms, pipelines, and even bridges!
History and Advantages of using ROVs
Q. How long have ROVs been around?
A. ROVs have been used by the government since the mid 1950’s. In the 1970s, they came into use by multiple private companies in the oil and gas industry. Recent technology developments have allowed ROV prices to drop, putting this amazing technology within the reach of smaller diving operations. Dive companies are now purchasing more ROV units than ever before, and hiring crews to operate and maintain them.
Q. What are the advantages of operating ROVs with divers?
A. ROVs can perform multiple underwater tasks without exposing humans to dangerous situations- such as inspections, reconnaissance, and salvage. By (temporarily) substituting the role of the diver, these vehicles are able to do the job/provide better information about the job without putting the diver’s life at risk.
Becoming ROV Certified
To work in any ROV related field one must go through training that is aimed at providing all the necessary skills. At the International Diving Institute, we provide all the training necessary for you to become a certified ROV pilot and technician!
International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) ROV Training Requirements
In order to train with ROVs and become an effective pilot/technician, the IMCA requires the following:
1. Proficient understanding of written and spoken English
2. Computer skills
3. Technical abilities in the areas of hydraulics, electronics, and mechanical systems
4. Ability to work all parts of the ROV crew, as a team
Careers Operating ROVs
Individuals that successfully complete this course can go on to become professionals within the industry.
ROV pilot/technician – this individual is responsible for maintenance, repair and operation of the ROV.
Important Tips for Anyone Interested in Any ROV Career
Before settling down on any training school be sure to carry out extensive research. Pick an institution that is known for producing exceptional individuals. The school should have modern facilities and equipment to help you get the necessary skills, like the International Diving Institute.
Instead of joining the first school you come across take the time to look around and inquire regarding the different courses available and the amount that you are required to pay. Some schools may be charging a higher rate when in essence they are providing similar services to other institutions.
As you plan on joining a course also consider the possibilities you are going to have when it comes to career growth. Some individuals prefer “subsea” ROV jobs while others are interested in any ROV pilot career. Find out which career fits you best and go for it!
ROV pilot/technician jobs are among the most lucrative in the world today; combined with diving, it makes anyone going into the industry that much more effective. The ability to do every aspect of every job is what separates one company from another, and the more YOU are able to do, the more those companies will pursue you!