The OPD was designed and built to be rapidly deployed in a single 6 metre borehole. The OPD system can be operated in three different modes:
- Rotary Mode – continuous 6 metre core
- Reverse Circulation Mode – sample/collection of drill cuttings in 1 metre sections to a maximum depth of 6 metres below seafloor
- Vibrocore Mode – continuous 6 metre core
The OPD can work in up to 4,000 metres of water and is controlled remotely from the surface. An umbilical provides electric power to an onboard 40 HP hydraulic system. The system uses proven drilling components controlled with proven work class ROV telemetry.
The OPD is equipped with a self-leveling base that permits the system to be used effectively on slopes up to 20 degrees. The unit is equipped with three articulated outrigger legs to provide additional support to the system when landing on slopes. For soft seafloor conditions, the OPD can be outfitted with a suction base to provide stability. After completion of the test, the suction pump reverses flow and 'pumps' the drill off of the bottom.