Redefining underwater construction using ROVs

Tuesday, July 11, 2023 / The Blueye office

A lot of construction work takes place near or in water. Both the construction of ferry lanes, bridges, roads, and infrastructure require a good overview of how the construction affects the surrounding area and vice versa.

As this industry continues to evolve, it will be an advantage for companies to invest in the latest technologies to stay ahead of the curve. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) have emerged as indispensable tools in this regard, offering a range of benefits for underwater construction sites.

Site visit to Garney Construction

Garney Construction, a renowned construction company specializing in water and wastewater systems in the United States, recently showcased their commitment to innovation during a site visit by our team members, Trond Larsen and James Nixon. The visit occured at a construction site for a water transfer station in Norwood, North Carolina, as part of the Yadkin River Water Supply Project. This project aims to provide a sustainable water supply to the Yadkin River Basin Service Area in North Carolina.

Photo: Blueye Robotics
Trond Larsen at Garney construction.
Photo: Blueye Robotics
Trond Larsen inspecting underwater construction using Blueye X3.

At Garney Construction, the use of Blueye ROVs demonstrated their progressive mindset and eagerness to embrace cutting-edge technology. They utilize ROVs for conducting inspections of underwater pipes, including the examination of gaskets and flange bolts. By employing this thorough assessment, Garney ensures uninterrupted flow and maintains a reliable water supply within the pipes.

Challenges of low visibility and diving risks

Zero to low visibility at an underwater construction site

Poor visibility and adverse diving conditions often present significant challenges during underwater construction projects. In such circumstances, sending a diver to assess progress can be risky. Factors such as strong currents and high water flow compound the dangers of manual diving operations. These conditions not only jeopardize the safety of divers but also hinder their ability to accurately evaluate underwater pipes' conditions.

The Blueye ROV as the solution

We used the Blueye X3 equipped with Oculus sonar to overcome these obstacles.

Clear image of bolts and gaskets taken using Blueye X3

This enabled us to quickly locate the pipes and obtain clear images of the gaskets and flange bolts, removing the issue of less visibility. Moreover, the ROV will help identify the spot of the leak beforehand, providing valuable information for divers. Additionally, it enables real-time monitoring of divers during their operations, enhancing overall safety.

Controlling the brightness of the light is a simple task with the Blueye app, especially in situations where there is significant backscatter. It is essential to regulate the light for optimal visibility under such circumstances.

Trond Larsen at Garney's construction site
Trond Larsen at Garney construction site. Photo: Blueye Robotics

Companies like Garney Construction recognise the benefits of investing in this advanced technology to mitigate risks, improve efficiency, and ensure the successful completion of projects. This also showcases their commitment to innovation and delivering high-quality construction projects.

Interested in learning more about how underwater drones can support your business?

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