Fiber optic spools for ROV and tether vehicles

22 December 2013

Fiber optic spools for ROV and tether vehicles

Unmanned vehicles need a bidirectional high quality communication system to bring back video signal or other sensor information from the vehicle and to transmit command signals to the vehicle.

When radio communication cannot be used due for instance to underwater operation or EMI environment a fiber optic tether is a very effective solution. SEDI-ATI Fibres Optiques is proposing a new system which can avoid a bulky and heavy cable tether. It is composed of a very compact and light package in which is included a precision wound untwisted optical fiber allowing long distance pay out. This disposable system is ideal when weight or small dimensions are important factors. Two versions have been developed: one for terrestrial unmanned vehicles and the other for underwater operations. The coating of the fiber is reinforced for optimum resistance allowing high speed payout. The deployable side of the spool is equipped with a connector to be connected to the control station and the opposite fiber end is pigtailed with a 1.8 mm standard jacket to be connected to the vehicle or to an hermetic feedthrough in the case of underwater version. The maximum length of the standard product is 3000 m for the underwater version and 1000 m for the terrestrial. Other designs can be proposed on request.

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