ClassNK issues ROV/AUV guidelines

Classification society ClassNK has released its “Guidelines for ROV/AUV” which summarise the performance and safety requirements for remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

So far, ROVs and AUVs have mainly found their use in oceanographic surveys and offshore oil and gas field development, but in recent years their utilisation as a means for maintaining offshore wind power generation facilities and pipelines has been steadily increasing.

Although the utilisation of ROVs and AUVs is increasing worldwide, there is no international standardisation of such technologies.

With this in mind, in order to contribute to the safe and effective use of ROVs/AUVs, ClassNK developed the guidelines which establish requirements related to the equipment and basic items generally required for the operation of these vehicles, as well as precautions and safety measures, based on the knowledge obtained through demonstration experiments with experts and companies making advanced efforts.

The guidelines also explain related terms, classifications, and utilisation examples, usable as introductory material on ROVs/AUVs.

For implementing specific application cases of ROVs, they include the requirement for ROVs service suppliers as well as the procedures in using at ship surveys such as in-water surveys, internal hull surveys of flooded compartments, and damage verification. Appendices that contain excerpts of relevant rules and the results of demonstration experiments into the application of ROVs to ship surveys are also provided for supplementary purposes.

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Recognising that the utilisation of ROVs/AUVs will be expanded in various fields, the society will gather the opinions and feedback of the industry and continue to update the guidelines in order to meet the needs for the safety standards development and third-party certification.