Posted by September 13, 2017

The ROV that Explored USS Indianapolis

  • ROV deployment from the RV Petrel (Photo: 3U)
  • USS Indianapolis Underway September 27, 1939 (Navy photo 80-G-425615)
  • ROV control room with ergonomic “cyber chairs” (Photo: 3U)
  • ROV control station during operations (Photo: 3U)
  • ROV deployment from the RV Petrel (Photo: 3U) ROV deployment from the RV Petrel (Photo: 3U)
  • USS Indianapolis Underway September 27, 1939 (Navy photo 80-G-425615) USS Indianapolis Underway September 27, 1939 (Navy photo 80-G-425615)
  • ROV control room with ergonomic “cyber chairs” (Photo: 3U) ROV control room with ergonomic “cyber chairs” (Photo: 3U)
  • ROV control station during operations (Photo: 3U) ROV control station during operations (Photo: 3U)

The wreckage of the USS Indianapolis was found by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and his team on August 19, 2017. A state-of-the-art remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was deployed to confirm and document the shipwreck in its resting place some 5,500 meters below the surface in the Philippine Sea.

 
For the design, manufacture and commissioning of the specialty ROV, Allen and his company Vulcan Inc. received support from 3U Technologies, LLC, who said it was initially contracted by Vulcan in 2012 to investigate 6,000-meter ROV solutions to extend Allen’s passion for WWII Naval history, exploration and archeology to most of the world’s ocean depths. Working under the direction of Vulcan’s Director of Subsea Operations Robert Kraft, 3U engineering and management personnel sourced, specified and designed all key systems/subsystems and managed equipment manufacturing, testing and integration from a worldwide supplier base.
 
The result, 3U said, is a powerful 100 kW ROV outfitted for deep ocean exploration. Key features include:
  • INS Based Automation: Waypoint navigation and station keeping; sonar target tracking and station keeping
  • Powerful all-electric propulsion
  • 4500 VAC, 17mm diameter umbilical
  • 5 kW LED lighting system
  • Broadcast quality HDTV video cameras
  • High megapixel stills cameras
  • Scanning and multi-beam sonar systems
  • Multiple high bandwidth data channels: Gigabit Ethernet; Serial Data
  • Dual Titan 4 manipulators: Isolated hydraulic supply
  • 18 kW tooling hydraulic system: Operator adjustable flow and pressure
 
“3U Technologies provided unparalleled engineering services and was instrumental in the development and acquisition of arguably one of the most technologically advanced and capable deep diving ROV systems in the world today,” Kraft said.
 
“3U Technologies is very proud and honored to have been involved in this project, which hopefully brings some measure of closure to the 19 Indianapolis crew members remaining alive today,” stated Carl Barrett, Lead Project Manager from 3U. “At 3U we pride ourselves on our record of successful completion of new and unique technical projects and look forward to further opportunities to support Vulcan’s exciting future projects.”
MicrosoftPhilippine Seamultibeam sonar systems