The Road to Autonomy: Unmanned Subsea Asset Inspection

Reducing Requirements for Manual Intervention
In 2019, Swire Seabed successfully used a novel AUV/USV solution to complete a commercial pipeline inspection campaign, surveying 175km of pipe. This involved use of a HUGIN AUV paired with the Sea-Kit Maxlimer USV. The 2019 survey campaign formed the final part of a developmental project involving Swire Seabed, EIVA, Kongsberg and Sea-Kit in which inspection work scopes were completed for Equinor. In this, emphasis was placed on the automation of survey processes, allowing remote command and control of operations. This work typifies the direction in which the industry is heading, with many survey companies now seeking to reduce requirements... (read more)
2020-10-20 08:58:57

Venezuela Performs Bathymetric Surveys with Own Satellite

Ever since the launch of the VRSS-2 Antonio José de Sucre satellite in 2017, researchers have been looking into how best to use and apply the information that it provides for the benefit of environmental development and sustainability. For example, the bathymetry derived from satellite images is very beneficial for hydrographic services, since it allows information to be obtained that has not been explored with traditional acoustic methods. The Venezuela Hydrographic Office has started to use this method, also to improve its hydrographic coverage. The Antonio José de Sucre satellite is Venezuela's third artificial satellite. It was launched from the Jiuquan... (read more)
2020-10-07 11:06:14

iXblue Builds Capacity for Simultaneous Operations on Either Side of the Tasman

iXblue has announced the award of two significant hydrographic charting projects this month. The projects were awarded by the Australian Government Department of Defence and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) under their respective annual survey and charting programmes. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, iXblue will be exercising new in-house capabilities to undertake both major projects simultaneously. The LINZ project, part of iXblue’s programme on the Hydrographic Suppliers Panel, will see nearly 2,000 linear nautical miles of high-resolution bathymetry data collected in coastal waters off the Coromandel Peninsula – a highly trafficked waterway on the east... (read more)
2020-09-29 08:40:10

Russian Survey Vessel Explores 14,000km Cable Route across Arctic Seabed

On 6 August 2020, the Professor Logachev survey ship set out from Kirkenes, Norway on course for Russian Arctic waters. Over the next three months, the ship and its crew will sail 6,500km along the north Russian coast. The Norwegian border town could become a hub for an almost 14,000km-long telecom cable between Asia and Europe. Researchers are this summer exploring the best route across the Arctic seabed. Their mission is to look into the deep to examine the sea bottom. Their findings will be crucial for the future of Arctic Connect, the project developed by the Finnish company Cinia... (read more)
2020-09-04 01:29:59

Submerged Munitions, No Hazard Left Undetected

Minimum Requirements for Munitions Detection at Sea
Munitions in the sea pose a risk to the sustainable development of the ocean economy. In particular, they are a global challenge during the construction of wind parks, pipelines and other infrastructure. To ensure high-quality performance during the execution of the necessary maritime munitions detection and clearance operations, industry experts and scientists from Germany have defined a set of requirements. These are particularly important in the detection phase which requires the attention of hydrographic surveyors. Safe access to large areas of the seafloor is a prerequisite for offshore economic development. However, this ability has been compromised by the presence of... (read more)
2020-07-20 02:06:12

Fugro Starts Vattenfall Site Investigations at UK Offshore Wind Farms

Fugro has begun a four-month marine site characterisation campaign for Swedish energy group Vattenfall at two major offshore wind development sites located over 40 km off the coast of Norfolk, UK. The resulting Geo-data from Fugro’s geotechnical investigations will feed into the ground model for the Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas wind farms, which will have a total installed capacity of 3.6 GW, enough to power more than 3.9 million homes. Working from its dynamically positioned (DP2) geotechnical drill ship Fugro Scout, Fugro is performing surveys and sampling using its proprietary SEACALF Mk V DeepDrive cone penetration testing system at both sites, and will... (read more)
2020-07-20 10:50:25

New Autonomous Guard Vessel Concept Design to Revolutionize Offshore Wind Industry

The concept design of an Autonomous Guard Vessel (AGV) revealed earlier this month could well revolutionize the offshore industry. The futuristic-looking design has been created by a consortium of maritime companies looking to support the offshore industry by exploiting technology available today. The novel design is smaller and lighter than most current guard vessels used to protect offshore operations and boasts sustainable solutions while exploiting the benefits of autonomous shipping. In addition, the AGV is set to operate more efficiently as well as require lower operating costs due to no crew being required. This clean and lean concept to replace conventional... (read more)
2020-07-13 09:50:39

Fugro’s Subsea Engineering Solutions Key to Ireland’s Corrib Gas Field Integrity

Fugro has used the survey vessel Edda Sun to deliver an inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) project for Corrib, Ireland’s biggest natural gas field, on behalf of Vermilion Exploration and Production Ireland Limited (Vermilion). The project included deepwater pipeline surveys, inspection of subsea structures, and maintenance tasks using Fugro’s FCV3000 remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and the Edda Sun is now returning to the North Sea to continue its 2020 IRM programme. Before mobilizing offshore, Fugro combined subsea virtual simulation, engineering design and physical testing to develop a predictive understanding of the offshore inspection and maintenance tasks. This provided in-depth knowledge of... (read more)
2020-07-07 08:41:07

Fast-moving Waterfalls in the Deep Sea

New research led by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has discovered how fast-moving waterfalls under the sea control the shape and behaviour of submarine channels. These underwater channels are the offshore equivalents of rivers, but can be much larger. Submarine channels can extend for tens to thousands of kilometres offshore, providing an important conduit for the transfer of sediment, nutrients and pollutants, such as microplastics, to the deep sea. Avalanches of sediment that flow down these channels also pose a hazard to networks of seafloor cables that underpin global communications, including the internet. An international research team, including NOC, the... (read more)
2020-06-19 08:49:37

Using Unmanned Surface Vehicles for Bathymetric Dam Imaging

A North American Case Study with Wide-ranging Applications
Inspection of dams is a high-risk task for divers because of strong currents and eddies. The use of emerging technologies such as unmanned surface vehicles equipped with echosounders and sonars can lower those risks. Such systems can perform subsurface dam inspections quickly and effectively without putting humans at risk, as this US case study shows. Overused roads, outdated railway systems, brittle power grids, crumbling bridges and suchlike all take a toll on the economy and, tragically, sometimes even lead to loss of life. Failing infrastructure is an issue for most countries, and likely more so in developed nations that still... (read more)
2020-06-16 09:28:06
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