Remotely Operated Work Platform

A radical new approach to subsea operations
As the industry searches for hydrocarbons in deeper and deeper water, the difficulties related to this exploration and installation of related equipment are increasing substantially. Subsea installation methods, which were designed for relatively shallow water applications, are being stretched to make them suitable for the requirements of work at depths ranging from 500 to 2,500 metres but most of them become impractical. B&a industries bv, drawing on its field experience in ultra-deep water installation, salvage and underwater positioning, has designed, built and commissioned the first remotely operated work platform, pushing the limit to 3,000 metres. Named Promaster, this self-contained tool... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

Trends in Hydrography

Taking Lessons from Today's Technical Developments
It’s often a cliché to say that everything offshore has changed since the introduction of GPS, but there have certainly been many changes since back then in the 1980s. The other obvious transformational technology has been computers and computer processing that, like the rest of the world, has totally and radically changed our lives. It didn’t happen immediately of course – no, that would never do in the ultra conservative environment of hydrography and offshore surveying. However, it’s clear when comparing mid-20th century surveying with today that they have totally and fundamentally impacted our projects. Nowadays, such technologies are often taken... (read more)
2016-12-06 02:02:15

A Triptych on Standards of Competence

The current status of hydrography is relatively new and one of the consequences is an ongoing search for appropriate standards of competence for personnel involved. It is not possible to lay down a single uniform set of standards as a strong relationship exists between standards and type/nature of activity. Hydro international interviewed three representatives of segments within hydrography, each with a differing approach to standards of competence. These views cover general hydrographic education, training and experience of offshore contract personnel and the outlook of a company providing such personnel. Svante Astermo, FIG/IHO/ICA Advisory Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

Furthering Ocean Science Using Innovative Marine Robotics

First Results of Unmanned Surface Vehicle Trials Revealed
Robotics and autonomous systems are championed as one of the UK government’s ‘Eight Great Technologies’. The National Oceanography Centre is committed to maximising this technology to further ocean science and has purchased a fleet of innovative autonomous surface vehicles, each with different specifications and capabilities. The fleet – including custom-designed vessels — was put through its paces late last year in an ambitious project. The first results from this mission have been revealing, with each vehicle proving it has a part to play in the future of autonomous research. When it comes to ocean exploration and discovery, the potential of... (read more)
2015-08-06 02:51:24

Depth of Cable Cover Gets New Look

New Technology Reduces Cost
Burying utility cables under the seabed in shallow water environments to ensure cable safety is accelerating because of green power generation initiatives and the relative ease of securing permits to lay cable in rivers or estuaries compared to onshore right-of-ways. In locations with shifting sands and bottom profiles, verification that the utility line remains covered is often required. A new remote sensing method has been developed to accomplish depth-of-cover utility surveys at greatly reduced cost. Maintaining underwater utility infrastructure varies with water depth. ROVs are generally used in deep water. In less than 50 metres, such as nearshore, estuaries, bays,... (read more)
2011-07-15 04:13:41

Choosing the Right Sonar Imaging System for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Multi Aperture Sonar - a Low-logistics Alternative to SAS
Underwater vehicle operators have to make a choice when deciding on a sonar imaging system to integrate into their systems. The decision could result in a trade-off, with a choice to be made between achieving high levels of range and resolution, and power and weight budgets. The decision made can impact the value of the subsea survey, classifying and mapping operations. But does it always have to be a trade-off?  What is a Multiple Aperture Sonar? In multi-aperture sonar (MAS), the dynamically focused multibeam input from 32 elements is used to extend the focus along the whole swath. Multiple apertures... (read more)
2019-01-29 08:25:14

"Probably, Possibly, Maybe...?"

The current skill shortage that is causing concern to many in the hydrographic industry is not an isolated case. The same issues are causing major problems in skilled operations for the entire offshore workforce. With the average age of the sector being 55+, there is an acute shortage of the necessary 'manpower' needed to keep the industry going in the future. The author of this article has endeavoured to research this 'case' with particular reference to engineering. In so doing, she has found that this is an 'industry-wide' crisis. Here she identifies those factors that in her experience have led... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

A View of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market in 2016
This last year has seen an increase in Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) sales and prospects for new sales. The lower than usual oil price may be responsible for much of that growth. Faced with operating in an increasingly harsh market where cost efficiencies can be the difference between success or failure for a business, Oil and Gas companies have had to look for ways to operate profitably. This often means a fairly radical restructure of their business and operations. Survey class AUVs offer a level of technical and operational maturity at a price point that encourages their use by oil... (read more)
2016-07-26 11:26:42

"Running Costs of Research Vessels Differ between Countries"

Hydro International Interviews Dr Klas Lackschewitz, GEOMAR; Chairman ERVO Group
Operating research vessels is an important aspect of many hydrographic and oceanographic organisations. The European Research Vessel Operators (ERVO) Group coordinates small to medium-sized research vessels in Europe. This platform provides an opportunity to exchange experiences on issues or problems related to research vessel operators and new developments (and new-build vessels) and to share best practices. 'Hydro International' has interviewed Dr Klas Lackschewitz of GEOMAR, Germany, and chairman of the ERVO Group for 2017-2019 about the organisation and its efforts. ERVO Group is optimising the use of capacity of small and middle-sized research vessels. What do you consider as minimum and... (read more)
2017-08-30 01:59:19

Quality Control of Survey Data

A Continuous Process?
Quality control of survey data is an integral part of any hydrographic survey or inspection operation, but the focus is too often concentrated on the wrong sensors, the carrying out of unnecessary comparisons and ultimately burying real issues in a flood of confusing and contradictory error messages, print-outs and alarms. So what is meant by quality control of survey data, why do we need it, how should we measure it and when is the best time to carry it out? ‘Quality’ is a phrase often used and is expected to be highly visible in the literature and mission statements of... (read more)
2013-09-06 04:37:34
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