Nova Ray® ROV FAQs
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Frequently Asked Questions About The Nova Ray Winged ROVs
Basically it is an underwater drone attached to a cable (for control, data & power).
The cable / tether / umbilical provides the power to the ROV and serves as the data path back to the command & control console where the pilot operates the ROV by remote control. The pilot typically guides the ROV by seeing what the ROV cameras and sensors sees, guiding it to areas of interest or on a course to collect the desired data.
For a comparison of different types of ROVs visit our About ROVs Page.
To put it simply: YES!
Please visit our ROV Comparison Chart to see the differences; but in a nutshell our ROVs offer a revolutionary new design based upon a much more stable and higher performance winged design – an Arcuate Wing!
We have also engineered them to be much easier to operate that other ROVs, easier to maintain and repair, resulting in substantially more work done with higher quality data, at a higher return on your investment. Nova Ray ROVs offer the broadest range of applications of any ROV because of this.
The Nova Rays were invented by the Geriene Brothers
Krist Geriene is the company’s R&D Officer and Chief Technologist. Krist Geriee also oversees all aspects of manufacturing and quality assurance.
Visit the Evolution of the Nova Ray timeline for more on this.
Also visit our company’s Leadership Page for more about Marc & Krist Geriene.
Nova Ray Knowledge Needed
To effectively use a Nova Ray ROV y0u have to have knowledge in the following:
- Certification as a Nova Ray pilot
- A thorough understanding of the data you are trying to collect and what you are going to use it for
- A knowledge of what you are going to be searching for or looking at using the sensors or cameras on the Nova Ray
- How to manage your vessel to avoid damaging the Nova Ray
- How to provide power to the Nova Ray and manage the tether/cable/umbilical
- Safety best practices for using an ROV
If the Nova Ray is equipped with optional manipulators or other specialized tool, these may require significantly higher degrees of technical knowledge and experience.
Nova Rays (specifically our 305/550 meter models) can be operated from the surface down to their rated maximum depth. If there is at least 2.5 feet of free water depth you can operate a Nova Ray 305 Model (though more water depth would be preferred for ease of maneuvering).
Nova Rays are stable operating at the surface and immediately below the surface to any depth in between. The performance characteristics of the Nova Rays offer superior stability under the full range of operating conditions and depths, while under controlled-two or free flying.
The Nova Ray can spin/rotate on it center of axis, so it is one of the most flexible ROVs on the market, but also has the stability and control needed for real operations.
This makes them ideal for much higher mission flexibility, delivering better return on investment.
Because the Nova Rays are also portable they can be used in inland waterways such as rivers, dams, and lakes. They can be used in any body of water where you can provide power.
One or Two People can operate a Nova Ray
For the Nova Ray 305/550 Models this is typically two crew members.
- Certified Nova Ray Pilot
- Spotter / Cable-Tether Management
Nova Rays can be easily operated with small crews saving money for the operator. However it is possible to operate with just one person depending on the mission. For example, if operating from an open boat stationary in the water, the pilot can control the ROV and manage cable deployment, especially using the include auto-pilot mode. If the vessel is in motion, and especially if the pilot is inside/below decks then a spotter / tether manger should be on deck to control the umbilical and address any power connection issues (such as a portable generator providing power).
For the Nova Ray Deep Diver models, these typically require a crew of three, since it is best practice to have two operating the winch during deployment independent of the pilot.
Crew typically work schedules of 8 to 12 hours while at sea if continuous operation is being performed.
Piloting a Nova Ray is easy!
If you can race a car in a video game, you can learn to pilot a Nova Ray quickly.
Typical Pilot Training & Certification is provided in just two days – one pilot certification training is included with each Nova Ray purchase.
Training consists of one day classroom, and one day at sea.
- Transportation of the complete unit
- Assembly and disassembly
- Operation – mechanical, electrical, electronics
- Safety & hazard considerations
- Tether/Cable/Umbilical management – towing & free-flight
- Instrumentation/sensor use and data gathering
- Maintenance & repair
- Mission Planning & Optimization fro maximum ROI
Additional pilots can be trained for an additional fee.
It’s all about maximum operating depth!
What Is The Difference Between The Nova Ray Marine Fliers & The Deep Diver Models?
- Nova Ray 305 – 305 Meters
- Nova Ray 550 – 550 Meters
- Nova Ray 1500 – 1,500 Meters (option for 2,500)
- Nova Ray 4000 – 4,000 Meters
The Nova Ray Marine Flier series models have nominal maximum depths of 305 Meters and 550 Meters respectively. These models cover 90% of the operational depths worldwide.
The Nova Ray Deep Diver series models provide for much deeper depths of 1,500 Meters (2,500 Meters optional), or 4,000 Meters.
The Nova Ray Deep Diver series are much larger / heavier models that require davit/crane or launch rail deployment, unlike the smaller portable Nova Ray Marine Fliers models.
Battery Power Equals Limited Use Time
When you have an ROV that is battery powered you are limited by the battery charge. Just ask any aerial drone pilot if flight time limits are a challenge, requiring extra batteries galore to fulfill basic missions. Same is true in battery powered ROVs and AUV.
The Nova Ray can operate continuously for days, weeks at a time without ever having to remove it from the water for a recharge, because power comes through the cable. Some claim the use battery power reduces cable drag – no power cable means a smaller cable cross section. However, what this speaks to is the battery powered ROVs do not have sufficient power to pull long tethers to begin with, and use batteries as a selling tool, instead of what it really is – a severe limitation.
Battery power has its place in low cost, low power consumer/light commercial class camera ROVs but real work requires real commercial/industrial grade ROVs such as the Nova Ray.
Nova Ray is the world’s first portable ROV
Truly! Drop & Go Ready™
Lots of new drone and robotics makers are eying the ROV market as open to their devices, yet have very little true experience in actually performing work underwater. While it is easy to assemble something and call it an ROV, unless you have spend decades using them, the nuanced control and design requirements are overlooked.
Portability is one of those.
The Nova Ray can easily be transported packed into its carrying case, or fully ready to drop in the water. Fully assemble it fits in any pickup truck, SUV, or standard car’s trunk ready to drop and go! And it has been since 2000! So who was first? Exactly!
The reason is simple. Radio waves do not work very well (or at all) underwater. Water absorbs the radio waves that are used to control aerial drones.
This leaves two options:
- Tethering (with a cable/umbilical)
- Or completely autonomous with little or no communications
For the vast majority of operations, the tethering approach works. Unfortunately, using a tether brings challenges in control and stability of the ROV. The NOVA RAYs are designed the eliminate or vastly reduce these destabilizing forces (see our Arcuate Wing page for more on this).
Yes and No!
Nova Ray ROVs are available in two series:
- Nova Ray Marine Fliers – smaller & portable winged ROVs
- Nova Ray Deep Divers – larger ROVs
Both types can use Top Hats or Cages, depending upon the application or need, but do not require them. Both are types of tether management systems (TMSs) and are used to deploy ROVs from the surface to the working depth. A side-entry cage can be used for more moderate depths where the ROV is simply parked and secured while it is raised and lowered in the water.
However, typically the smaller Nova Ray models (305/550) do not require either since the Nova Rays are fully capable of pulling their tethers down to depth because of their better performance and radically smaller tether depth to length ratio. The Nova Ray 305 & 550 can easily be hand deployed.
The larger Nova Ray Deep Diver 1,500 & 4000 would be typically used with a Cage or Top Hat to facilitate raising and lowering without putting the stress on the umbilical attach-point, and also since these are used from larger vessels – to protect the ROVs as they are pulled aboard.
Use a Small Generator or Shipboard Power
Nova Ray ROVs (current 305 & 550 models) are powered by their umbilical power cable (in the tether), they do not carry batteries on board. (Though we are looking at autonomous products – such as the AeroSub™ – that will be battery-powered in the future.)
The power required to operate the Nova Ray ROV at full power indefinitely is less than 2000W – meaning a 2000W portable generator is perfect to power the Nova Ray, where shipboard power is inadequate or not available. The 2000W powers not only the ROV, but also the command and control computer, monitors, etc. – the “whole shebang”
We suggest a 50% overcapacity, since you may want power for other purposes as well.
A suggested generator would be the 3000W models from Honda (which is what we use on our R&D Boat when testing our 305 & 550 models. http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/models/eu3000i-handi