Oceanbotics’ newest ROV seeks and destroys sea mines

Oceanbotics’ SRV-8 underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) is certainly no slouch, nor is its more capable sibling, the SRV-8X. The latest version of the vehicle, the SRV-8 MDV, takes things even further – it blows up sea mines.

Announced this week, the SRV-8 MDV (Mine Disposal Vehicle) incorporates the existing Viper MDS system made by British marine engineering company ECS Special Projects. Here’s how it works …

The surface-located operator starts by remotely piloting the SRV-8 MDV to the underwater mine in question, guided by both imaging sonar and a spotlight-aided HD camera.

Once the mine is located, the ROV-mounted Viper module is lightly touched against it. Doing so triggers the Viper’s Nail Attachment Unit, which fastens a “charge disruptor” (a shaped explosive charge) to the mine.

The ROV is then detached from the disruptor and guided a safe distance away, reeling out a spooled 3-mm-thick, aluminum-powder-filled “shock tube” (that still links the two) as it goes. The powder is then remotely ignited at the ROV-end of the tube, with the combustion rapidly traveling down the tube to the disruptor, which explodes along with the mine.

Multiple Viper MDS modules on a non-Oceanbotics ROV
Multiple Viper MDS modules on a non-Oceanbotics ROV

ECS Special Projects

As far as the MDV’s non-mine-exploding specs go … well, it’s the stock SRV-8 model. As such, it has a maximum depth rating of 305 meters (1,000 ft), can run for six to eight hours on one charge of its two swappable battery modules, and is capable of full 360-degree maneuverability thanks to its eight DVC (dynamic vector control) thrusters.

Interested parties can contact Oceanbotics via the company website.

Sources: Oceanbotics, ECS Special Projects

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