Numerical modelling and experimental testing of the hydrodynamic characteristics for an open-frame remotely operated vehicle

Qian Li, Yu Cao, Boyang Li, David M. Ingram, Aristides Kiprakis

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are important to provide the technology support for both the traditional offshore structures and rapidly-growing renewable energy facilities during their full-lifecycles, such as site survey, installation, inspection, maintenance and repair. Regarding the motion and performance of a ROV, the understanding of its hydrodynamic properties is essential when exposing to the disturbances of wave and current. In this study, a numerical model is proposed within the frame of an open-source platform OpenFOAM. The hydrodynamics of the adopted ROV (BlueRov2) in its four principal degrees of freedoms (DOFs) is numerically simulated by a Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) solver. Meanwhile, an experimental test is carried out by using a novel technique on measuring the hydrodynamic forces and moments. To validate the numerical prediction methodologies, a set of systematic simulations of the ROV subjected to the disturbances caused by various flow conditions are performed. Comparing to the model test measurement, the numerical model proved to be reliable in offering a good estimation of the hydrodynamic parameters. This also indicates that the presented numerical methodologies and experimental techniques can be applied to other types of open-frame ROVs in quantifying the hydrodynamic parameters, capturing the physics of the fluid-structure interaction (FSI) and feature of the turbulent vorticity which are all essential for the effective control of the ROVs under the nonlinear flow disturbances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number688
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Experimental test
  • Hydrodynamic forces and moments
  • Numerical simulation
  • Remotely operated vehicle
  • Turbulent flow modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


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