Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) in deepsea explorations
By applying expertise in finite element methods, computer simulation, and multi-body dynamics, Dr. Buckham works to improve the designs and operating strategies for offshore technologies.
Presently, his work focusses on two particular cabled devices: remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used in deepsea explorations and moored wave energy converters (WECs). The common problem in both application is the cable dynamics: the cable mechanics can dominate the motion of either system.
Over the past twenty years, Dr. Buckham's research group has evolveded simulation software that can be used to design and study ROV and WEC systems. Using simulations, Dr. Buckham's team aims to improve the efficiency of deepsea exploration and environmentally benign wave energy resource extraction without the expenses and risks of iterative sea trials.
As his ROV and WEC research has matured, Dr. Buckham's team has complemented simulation based technology research with exerimental projects including the deployment of wave monitoring buoys off of west coast of Vancouver Island, physical scale model testing of a particular WEC technology concept and experimental investigation of dextrous robotic manilulation strategies for small inexspensive ROVs.
Between 2000-2010, Dr. Buckham collaborated with: the Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility on the development of navigation software and instrument suites for the work class ROPOS remotely operated underwater vehicle, Ocean Dynamic Canada on the creation of a precision navigation system for a inspection class Falcon ROV, and with SyncWave Energy Inc. towards the design of a moored WEC technology. More recently, he works closely with the UVic Ocean Technology Lab on robotic manipulation for ROVs using a field laboratory that was built at Van Isle Marina in Sidney BC.
Dr. Buckham received a BC ASI Research Award for 2004-2005 and was named a BC Innovation Council Entrepreneurial Fellow in 2009 in recognition for his support of small high tech companies in the ROV and WEC fields. As the Director of the WCWI, Dr. Buckham continues to work to establish a foundation of resource knowledge, community engagement and technical know-how that can be used by his partners in future demonstration of wave energy conversion for British Columbia.