An Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) deploying a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) has the potential to replace a conventional manned vessel for various operations from field installation to operational support (including inspection, maintenance, repair and drilling support) and decommissioning. The USV deploying ROV (also written as USV+ROV) is already emerging in the oil and gas industry with maturing technology developments and increasing capacities and performance of autonomous vehicles and remotely operated systems. Beyond the safety improvement generated by the absence of personnel onboard the USV, this solution intends to significantly reduce the subsea intervention costs while improving the intervention (planning) flexibility. One of the advantages of the technology is that the operator is located offshore on another vessel or onshore while maintaining a real-time control with the USV+ROV. Threfore, communication link between the operator and the USV+ROV system is critical.

To mitigate limitations (latency and bandwidth) of the communication link, an obvious solution is to evolve disruptively towards autonomous system. However, incremental autonomy approach with immediate return on investment could be made possible with careful mission's analysis and thorough analysis of communications limitations on operation efficiency.

This paper will present only a methodology that attempts to develop a deep understanding of the communication physical effects and their consequences on performance of targeted remote operations. The impact of latency and bandwidth are studied using interactive simulations associated to future offshore trials. At the time of writing, the simulator has been commissioned and a proof of concept trials has been prepared.

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