ROV-Homer is a miniature range and direction guidance ROV beacon system for small or large ROVs. Based on proven acoustic principles, it is specifically designed for fast, efficient relocation of underwater targets such as lost diving bells, divers, seabed equipment or small objects.
It enables points of interest to be marked with an acoustic transponder so that an ROV pilot can be guided straight back to the target even in zero visibility. The system substantially reduces search time and therefore operating costs.
The system consists of an ROV mounted range and direction unit, PC control software and small, lightweight marker transponders. Once the pilot has selected the target he wishes to ‘home’ into, the ROV unit begins interrogating the designated transponder to determine its range and direction. The information is communicated back to the surface, via the ROV’s umbilical, and is displayed on the user’s PC. It indicates the range to the target and in which direction to turn in order to fly the ROV directly towards the selected transponder.
The ROV mounted unit is accurately aligned with the ROV’s heading sensor and is connected to spare cores either on the ROV’s umbilical or to the ROV’s communications multiplexer. The electronics inside the unit incorporate power regulation, an RS232 interface and a microprocessor all of which are galvanically isolated from the ROV’s electrical system. 12–36 V DC power supply is connected via the same connector. On smaller ROVs which do not have communications multiplexers and therefore cannot support RS232, a RS485 interface can be provided.
The transponders are compact so that they can be easily fitted to divers or equipment and have a long life battery pack making them ideal for use as permanent markers. Each transponder is individually encoded enabling many transponders to be used on the same site to unambiguously mark many targets.