Hydro Group Fibre-Link (Deep Field) Penetrator

Published on 12th July 2010

Hydro Group Fibre-Link (Deep Field) Penetrator

Hydro Group, a global solutions provider of optical and electrical products in the subsea technology industry has developed a Fibre-Link deep field penetrator. The penetrator is most suitable for sea bed ploughs, ROVs, MUX systems and deep sea programmes, and is operational to 3,000 MSW (310 Bar).

The Fibre-Link penetrator housing uses a 5/8″ 18 UNF-2A threaded body as a bulkhead or flange mounting, however alternative bespoke design housings can be accommodated for individual customer specification. The basic penetrator body is a connector assembly which consists of a fully moulded cable tail and adapter connector plugs.

Due to the sophisticated polishing and tuning procedures incorporated into the Fibre-Link manufacturing, connectors are assembled first on to optical fibre at Hydro Group’s new headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The Fibre Link can incorporate two main types of optical fibre, multimode or singlemode. A multimode optical fibre has a larger core (=50 micrometres), allowing less precise transmitters and receivers to connect to it. However, a multimode fibre can introduce multimode distortion which often limits the bandwidth and length of the link. The core of a singlemode fibre is smaller (=10 micrometres) and allows much longer higher performance links.

Two of the most commonly used optical fibres are 50/125 and 62.5/125 types. Like multimode optical fibres, single mode fibres do exhibit modal dispersion resulting from multiple spatial modes but with narrower modal dispersion. Single mode fibres are therefore better at retaining the fidelity of each light pulse over longer distances than multi-mode fibres. For these reasons, single-mode fibres can have a higher bandwidth than multi-mode fibres.

Fibre optics being used subsea are prone to crushing and must be placed into either plastic tubes or stainless steel tubes, but for greater depths stainless steel is required.

Hydro Group Sales Director Derrick Reith said: “Hydro Bond Engineering and Hydrocable Systems, both Hydro Group companies, have a 28-year track record of developing and producing outstanding products for the ROV & AUV industries. Our dedication to producing R&D-focused solutions has seen our group selected as the tether supplier for some of the world’s most successful ROV manufacturers.”

Hydro Group specialises in the design, manufacture and support of subsea composite electrical, optical fibre and coaxial cables, tethers, connectors and penetrators for the subsea defence, marine and energy markets. The Fibre-Link Penetrator is just one or of a range of new products currently being designed and manufactured by Hydro Bond Engineering.

Whether it’s a complex power, communication, or optical fibre tether with 10,000kg breaking strain for work class ROVs, or a simple optical fibre, high voltage tether for light weight mine hunters or small inspection class ROVs, the experienced team at Hydro Group is well placed to discuss custom design and problem solving.

The company also designs and manufactures a huge range of electrical, optical and coaxial subsea connectors and penetrators used to connect the communications module to the hydraulic power units, thrusters, underwater video cameras, sonar and lights and can even manufacture specialist field installable mechanical terminations to assure minimum downtime, should a tether become damaged and re-termination is required.

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