a - MODUS
MODUS (MObile Docker for Underwater Sciences) is a special deep-sea ROV
(remotely-operated vehicle), developed and qualified in the framework of MAST-3 projects
GEOSTAR (1995-1998) and GEOSTAR 2 (1999-2001), capable to operate heavy
payloads at depths down to 4000 m.
Originally conceived to deploy and recover GEOSTAR deep-sea benthic
MODUS has been adapted to carry out the tasks foreseen for BIODEEP project,
- accurate and controlled deployment of SCIPACK into the brines and
at the normal sea-water/brine interface;
- survey of the basin beaches.
MODUS is deployed through an
electro-mechanical cable carried by a special large winch.
MODUS standard configuration includes:
- 3 TV cameras: 2x b/w, 1x col (6000 m w.d.) (DeepSea Power
& Light MULTI-SEACAM 1050/2050); 3 lights (DeepSea Power & Light DL
1040, 24V / 250 W)
- Sonar (Tritech, dual frequency: 325 and 675 kHz, 360°, range
up to 300m)
- Altimeter (Tritech, 9600 Baud, 200 kHz, 20° conical beam, range 100m)
- Analog and electronic compass for heading, pitch and roll
- Two pairs of horizontally mounted Thrusters: Tecnadyne 2010, 700N thrust each
- Telemetry unit (MacArtney modified NEXUS)
Some adaptations were made from the original
configuration used for Geostar project. These include:
- addition of a skid (SCISKID) for the management of the umbilical cable to
SCIPACK, as well as for the mounting of the instruments required by the BIODEEP
- addition of an electronic box (S-BOX) managing MODUS navigation sensors (pressure,
altimeter, compass, tilt) as well as the power and communication to SCIPACK.
S-BOX is connected to MODUS telemetry through the already available serial lines
(two used, one for SCISKID and one for SCIPACK).
Modus and Scipack
Big winch for
3D cad drawing
of MODUS and
b - SCISKID
SCISKID is a frame added to MODUS to provide the necessary modular mounting capabilities
for the BIODEEP specific electronic boxes, sensors and steel cable
It is made of seawater resistant aluminium tubes with quadratic diameter
The mechanical connection between this frame and the existing
interface to MODUS is supplied by four welded steel L-profiles. SCISKID is
equipped with a cable stopper and a
sheave, leading the mechanical cable
undisturbed to the SCIPACK, described later.
to the frame of the MODUS umbilical-winch provides the necessary pull to
the stainless steel cable, connecting SCISKID with SCIPACK during
deployment and recovery.
A special data acquisition and control unit has been developed for
SCISKID, aimed at managing MODUS navigation sensors, as well as power/communication
Detail of the
c - SCIPACK
is the instrumented module specifically developed to enter into the brines and
take measurement and samples in an accurate and controlled way. SCIPACK
1) Mechanical frame. It is made in hard anodised
aluminium. It is provided with attachment points for
the standard payload foreseen for BIODEEP (CTD, Rosette, altimeter, light
and camera, B-Box) as well as for additional scientific packages (like the HP5L).
SCIPACK is connected to SCISKID by means of a mechanical cable (stainless steel, Φ
8 mm, fixed in the SCISKID cable stopper) and a separate electrical umbilical cable (4 twisted
2) Data acquisition and control
It is composed
of the following main units:
- CPU board model TEC-CPU2 (Tecnomare
design) based on ONSET TT8 + PERSISTOR CF8 (with the aim to switch on/off the
scientific payload and status sensors, to regulate the light intensity, to
acquire data supplied by SCIPACK scientific payload and status sensors; to
manage the communication with SCICONTROL) ;
- SIGNAL CONDITIONING board (Tecnomare
design) to condition the signals from status sensors (internal diagnostic);
- SWITCH board (Tecnomare design)
to switch ON/OFF the scientific payload and status sensors;
- DIMMER board to control the light intensity;
- POWER UNIT board
SCIPACK data acquisition and control electronics is housed (together
with internal status sensors) inside B-BOX (a
titanium vessel manufactured by KUM, internal diameter 150 mm, length 650 mm,
6000 mwd rated).
3) SCIPACK scientific payload. It is composed
- CTD IDRONAUT Ocean Seven 316, equipped with the following sensors:
- Pressure (calibrated in the range 0-4000 dbar)
- Temperature IPTS-68 (calibrated in the range 0-25 °C)
- Conductivity (high conductivity cell calibrated in the range 0-500 mS/cm).
- General Oceanics model 1015 Rosette, equipped with 12 bottles x 2.5 litre each and controlled by
an Idronaut CTD.
- TV Camera (DeepSea Power & Light) MULTI-SEACAM 2050 (color, 6000 m w.d.)
- Light (DeepSea Power & Light) DL 1040 (120V / 250 W)
4) SCIPACK Status sensors. They are used for navigation purpose and to monitor the internal
status of B-BOX. They consist of:
- Navigation sensors:
- Altimeter Tritech PA500/6(Frequency 500 kHz, Beamwidth 6°, Range 0.25 to 50m)
- OSTAR Compass (Falmouth Scientific, Inc.): it supplies Heading, Pitch, Roll, Internal temperature.
- Internal Diagnostic Sensors:
- power supply voltage
- current consumption
- internal temperature
- water detector.
(R/V Urania 2001)
(R/V Urania 2001)
d - MODUS handling equipment
MODUS operation requires a
dedicated handling equipment, composed of:
- an electro-mechanical umbilical cable (Rochester Corp. cable A303379,
Φ 25,4 mm, three power conductors + 3 optical fibres, 89 kN working load,
378 kN breaking strength)
- a winch + hydraulic power unit (MacArtney)
- an instrumented sheave (MacArtney)
This equipment (propriety of the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia)
has been rented by CoNISMa for the cruise.
d - MODUS surface equipment
It is composed of:
- MODUS power system, transformer, rectifier. The
power of about 25 kW for the use of MODUS is provided by an umbilical with
three conductors. Transmission is realized by 3 phase 3000 V current. The
generators of the ship using standard voltages and currents feed the board unit.
The surface transformer unit is equipped with safety devices. On the subsea side
the transformer is a closed structure filled with oil and using a pressure
compensator. The power is rectified and distributed to the several boxes and
units of MODUS.
- Surface control unit. During the mission the monitoring and steering
system of MODUS is placed in separate
19“-racks in the mission control room on board the ship. The rack includes
video recorders, monitors, two computers for data logging and control purposes,
the control panel showing all data transferred via telemetry from MODUS, the
joystick for steering, and finally it provides the bypass line between MODUS
telemetry (NEXUS) and SCICONTROL.
Details of the
Parts of the surface control unit:
1: video rack
(2 monitors, 2 video recorders)
2: steering and control rack
(2 computers, 2 monitors)
3: NEXUS telemetry surface unit
4: steering console and keyboard
5: Sonar rack, with:
6: plotter 17'monitor,
7: CPU switch,
8: Tritech sonar surface unit
|Surface control unit:
f - SCICONTROL
To control SCISKID and SCIPACK a single PC with 2 serial ports RS232 or two PCs
with a single serial port are necessary. The serial channels of SCISKID and
SCIPACK are available respectively on Serial Channel 1 and Serial Channel 2
of NEXUS telemetry system. A dedicate Interface program (developed by
Tecnomare) allows to open the control panel of SCISKID or SCIPACK by user
Main Panel of
3-1: SCISKID winch deploys SCIPACK with steel cable.
3-2: Cable stopper at SCISKID takes the load of SCIPACK.
3-3: A-frame lifts MODUS and SCISKID and the whole system is lowered by
the large winch.