Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles for Hydraulic Facilities Safety Assurance
The history of hydraulic facilities development, particularly the development of HPP dams and dikes is full of emergency and accident events. So far, HPP safety systems have mainly been threatened by natural disasters and criminal groups, which prefer the old-fashioned way by attacking upper facilities at HPP, using small arms. However, it’s just a matter of time before extremists revise their tactics and apply underwater equipment to attack dams and dikes.
- New Threats and Hazards
Today, with the current level of technology and availability of advanced technical solutions, safety system developers and risk assessment analysts should take into account the possibility that intruders along with traditional intrusion and offensive aids may use cutting-edge remotely operated equipment and even self-contained hardware. Such scenarios as an attack by combat swimmers or by means of self-contained remotely operated vehicles top the list of the most critical risks.
Until now, government agencies have been solely responsible for the development of underwater vehicles with onboard explosive charges, but today even average-level engineers are able to develop and produce such equipment due to available solutions, global economy, and the possibility for anonymous users to order and obtain high-tech components in the market.
- Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles (ROUVs) for Monitoring and Intrusion Prevention Operational Experience
Using available experience, JSС “NPP PT “OCEANOS” has designed the concept of ROUV application that allows to ensure appropriate monitoring and inspection of hydraulic facilities.
Oceanos uses the H300Mk2 vehicle as the basic version of ROUV. This vehicle is assembled in the Russian Federation, according to technical specifications by agreement with the state customer, and mostly contains components produced by Russian companies. The vehicle has shown high performance in difficult operating conditions, including extreme conditions of the Barents Sea. This ROUV features onboard powerful lighting and moves as fast as to be able to leave any combat swimmer behind. Fitted with a manipulator, this system is designed as a non-lethal intrusion prevention system. If any unauthorized underwater swimmer is spotted, the ROUV operator can easily force the intruder out of the security area or make him to emerge.
For five years, the Federal Protective Service of Russia (FSO) has widely used the H-300 ROUV with JSС “NPP PT “OCEANOS” technical support. This operating period has allowed to gain wide experience in the field. Oceanos offers operational H-300 versions for underwater works and for long/short-term leasing and is ready to supply new vehicles.
For appropriate response to today’s challenges, we need to develop the hydraulic power facility security system that will include robotic solutions to guarantee the safety of HPP dams and dikes. The best solution is integration of protection equipment such as physical guards (safety barriers and nets), ROUVs, hydraulic sound systems for waterway area defence, and combat swimmers as well. Our company has experience in the development of such protection systems.