This paper presents a method for three dimensional dynamic analysis of a complete deep-water Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) system. The presented formulation utilizes Euler-Bernoulli beam theory to represent the cable and the Tether Management System (TMS) Module is represented as a rigid body moving in 6 degrees of freedom. The model is applied to a real ROV-system and compared to experimental data collected from deep-water ROV operations. The ability to estimate TMS position, velocity and acceleration (state estimation) is the key feature of this analysis. This is because acoustic positioning may not always be available hence other means of state estimation is needed to ensure safe and efficient operations. Two different ROV-deployments are simulated and show good correspondence with the experimental data, limitations in acoustic positioning is also shown on the basis of signal-loss. Based on simple current estimates and measured surface-ship position, the relative position of the TMS can be estimated with fairly good accuracy. The ability to simulate the ROV system in real time is also an important feature making the procedure feasible to incorporate in controller design. The cable forces are estimated and show that horizontal ship motions are of minor importance with regards to cable tension.

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