Training Simulator for Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle Operators

The simulator is designed for training of remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) operators to maintain and advance their professional skills within the following scope of work:

  • inspection of pipelines and cable lines;
  • works in oil and gas industry;
  • placing of hydrophones and lifting of underwater objects;
  • conduction of search and inspection activities in coastal sea or inland waters;
  • support of underwater technical activities performed by divers;
  • survey of submerged objects (ship hulls, sunk aircraft, submarines, etc.).

The simulator is designed for operator training on four types of ROVs, namely:

  • Falcon;
  • Pantera+;
  • Tiger;
  • Obzor.

Simulator software comprises the following:

  • instructor’s AWS software with mission editor;
  • ROV physical behavioural model;
  • ROV equipment mathematical models;
  • visualization mathematical model.

Instructor’s AWS Software

Control of modes and training scenarios is performed via instructor’s AWS.

The instructor generates a mission, virtual environment, including its all peculiarities: bottom profile, surface peculiarities, water visibility level, current direction and velocity, location of various objects, etc.

The system features the possibility to add new objects with predefined parameters (mission editor).

Instructor’s AWS displays current location of the vehicle in real-time mode. The system automatically generates a training report.

The instructor is intended to monitor operator passing checkpoints and is able to simulate emergency situations.

ROV Equipment Mathematical Model simulates:

  • operation of ROV hydroacoustic means of sunk objects detection, as well as operation of acoustic underwater positioning system. Professional software, such as Seanet Pro is used for hydroacoustic data display;
  • operation of various means of the ROV configuration (manipulator, cable cutter, thickness gauge, laser ruler, magnetometer).

Visualization Mathematical Model ensures:

  • simulation of:
    • water surface;
    • water transparency and colour parameters according to predefined underwater mission completion conditions;
    • plankton;
    • light conditions according to part of the day, cloudiness and current light sources on the ROV;
    • light blinding effects;
  • display of video data collected from ROV video cameras;
  • bottom and submerged objects imaging.
  • Visualization model is based on elements of open-code software – Ogre 3D.

ROV Physical Behavioural Model:

  • ensures the real-time dynamic changes in ROV parameters (depth; velocity; distance from bottom; cable layout and length, as well as their impact on the vehicle; stabilization accuracy) taking into account the following external factors: local environment and wave turbulence; impact of current and ROV engine operation on plankton, bottom vegetation, silt, etc.
  • simulates underwater objects and bottom collisions, obstacle collisions, as well as other external factors; cord and cable behaviour (bends, breakings, sag, etc.) is also simulated.
  • The ROV physical behavioural model is based on open-code physical library “BulletPhisics”.


  • The system is a Russian in-house design developed independently of the western manufacturers of the given vehicles.
  • The simulator is realized with both original ROV control consoles, as well as attached implements, and their analogues developed and manufactured under the design and development project.
  • The software developed under the design and development project has an open architecture ensuring simulator adaptation for application with other types of underwater vehicles and attached implements.
  • The simulator was designed at the request of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation. In December 2014, the simulator successfully passed state tests. In January 2015, the simulator was provided to task group subsidiary organization “Tsentrospas” in Tuapse. Since then the simulator has been in service.