STR Makes Multi-million-pound Investment in Sonardyne Acoustic and Inertial Technologies
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STR Makes Multi-million-pound Investment in Sonardyne Acoustic and Inertial Technologies

Subsea Technology and Rentals (STR), a multidisciplinary technology expert specializing in the design, production, rental and sale of innovative marine survey equipment, has committed to a multi-million-pound investment in seafloor, vehicle and vessel-based positioning hardware from marine technology company Sonardyne.

STR’s purchase includes Sonardyne’s Long BaseLine (LBL), Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) and inertial navigation systems; equipment that will support survey and construction projects across the offshore energy markets.

Confidence in the Offshore Energy Market

STR, a Baird Capital portfolio company, continues to significantly invest in new technology. The size and spread of equipment ordered is considered a clear sign of STR’s confidence in the offshore energy market, as activity levels rebound sharply through this year and beyond, and in the commercial and operational value that Sonardyne’s innovative subsea technology brings to STR customers.

“We’re witnessing increasing demand for our technology and services across the offshore energy markets,” said Scott Johnstone, chief operating officer, STR. “Timely access to the latest generation of hybrid subsea technology to get these shallow- and deep-water projects executed on time is critical to us and our customers, which is why we’re making this investment now.

“The value that Sonardyne’s latest 6+ LBL hardware and INS systems bring to offshore operations is clear. Used with Sonardyne’s Fusion 2 combined LBL and INS topside software, surveyors can do more with less kit deployed. Using a single combined operating system reduces set-up time and complexity compared with other systems. So, subsea construction operations, from millimetre accurate metrology through to real-time SLAM calibration of sparse LBL arrays, are just simpler and faster.

“This is even more critical today than ever, as operators look to reduce, as practicably as possible, the carbon emissions associated with their projects, delivering the energy the world still needs, but with as low an impact as possible.”

Embedding Sensor Data with Acoustic Ranging Data

STR’s order includes a large pool of Compatt 6+ LBL transponders, structure-mounted Gyro Compatt 6+s and ROV-mounted ROVNav 6+ ROV LBL transceivers. Sonardyne’s 6+ hardware uses the company’s exclusive Wideband 3 signal architecture, providing fast position updates of mobile targets as well as enabling sensor data, for example inclination and depth, to be embedded with acoustic ranging data – helping further de-risk operations at critical moments, such as structure touchdown.

STR has also invested in Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav hybrid underwater vehicle navigation technology. Combing Doppler-inertial navigation and depth sensing in a single pre-calibrated instrument, SPRINT-Nav offers high performance platform navigation without the challenges of separate sensors, size, weight, integration and alignment.  

In addition, the company has invested in multiple Sonardyne Mini-Ranger 2 USBL systems and a large pool of Wideband Sub-Mini 6+ transponders (WSM 6+). In combination, Mini-Ranger 2 and WSM 6+ have fast become the go-to positioning system for offshore renewable energy site survey and characterization operations, tracking and positioning a wide array of sensor systems. Quick to mobilize, easy to operate and then move to the next assignment, it is a versatile and valuable rental pool asset. 

“STR is very much a forward-looking company, both in terms of anticipating customer demand as activity increases, but also in terms of adopting the latest, most advanced technologies that provide the most value,” said Alan MacDonald, sales manager at Sonardyne. 

“STR was the first company to invest in our Syrinx DVL in 2016, followed up two years later by being the first to purchase Fusion 2 and our 6+ hardware variants. We look forward to continuing to work with STR, supporting the company and its clients across the offshore energy market.”

Scott Johnstone, chief operating officer, at STR, (left) and Alan MacDonald, sales manager at Sonardyne.