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TECH SPOTLIGHT MODUS UNVEILS NEXT GENERATION SURVEY AND INSPECTION CAPABILITY


Modus Seabed Intervention has completed system integration and trialling of one of the subsea industries first commercially available hybrid unmanned underwater vehicles; driving high performance, quality and cost-effective delivery of survey and inspection projects in the offshore, defence and oceanographic sectors.


The Modus hybrid is one of the first Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) to feature the capabilities and characteristics of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).


Working in partnership with Saab Dynamics for over three years, global subsea service provider Modus has developed the Saab Sabretooth specification for greater endurance and speed, and is also developing advanced sensor payload packages and operating methodologies.


Having completed a programme of integration tests and trialling both in Sweden and in the UK, the company is preparing the advanced spread for its first commercial deployment. The system will be used in survey and inspection projects in the oil & gas, interconnector and offshore renewables sectors to support pre-engineering, construction support and life-of-field condition monitoring requirements. The company is also working on a number of applications in the oceanographic and defence sectors.


The vehicle can be operated fully autonomously or as a tethered ROV, offering unrivalled flexibility and cost benefits from one platform. Whilst conventional AUVs are designed to remain in motion, the hybrid AUV features a thruster pattern that enables it to hover and operate with 6 degrees of freedom, providing a highly differentiated capability for inspection and light intervention applications.


Modus has armed the vehicle with increased thrust to support high speed survey, as well as additional batteries for extended autonomous endurance. The first vehicle is depth rated to 1,200 metres, which can be upgraded to 3,000 metres to meet project-specific applications. Modus have also developed two deployment and recovery systems; a floating dock for surface deployment and recovery, and a subsea garage allowing for a full de-coupling from the support vessel and for the vehicle to navigate autonomously in and out of the garage on the seabed.


As part of its advanced survey technology payload, the spread features as standard, a suite of sensors including the latest Edgetech 2205 combined triple frequency sidescan sonar, co-located bathymetry and sub- bottom profiler; HD video and stills cameras, IxBlue Phins3 INS, RDI workhorse DVl and 3D imaging sonars. Additional equipment available for integration includes R2 Sonic


2024 MBES, Cathodic Protection (CP) probes, magnetometer, cable tracking and laser scanning systems.


This new vehicle is part of a significant development programme by Modus, to introduce advanced and disruptive technologies across its range of services. In addition to new technology platforms, Modus is also developing a fully- managed service to provide a cost-effective and efficient service for holistic data harvesting and data and asset management, in combination with advanced mission planning and execution methodologies.


Modus and Saab have entered into a collaboration agreement, focussed on research and development to generate a road map to define the future capabilities of hybrid AUV technology. The company is heavily focussed on full subsea residency for life of field support, with the autonomous vehicles remaining permanently in situ rather than being deployed from a vessel.


KONGSBERG MARITIME: RESHAPING UNDERWATER OPERATIONS – LIVE FOOTAGE OF GROUNDBREAKING ROBOTIC SUBSEA ‘SNAKE’ RELEASED


MEelume AS has released the first live video footage of its game changing take on underwater intervention vehicles. With the support of Kongsberg Maritime as a development partner, the unique new Eelume robot has torn up the marine robotics rulebook to create a futuristic, snake-like vehicle designed to live permanently underwater and carry out underwater intervention tasks that would normally require the mobilisation of expensive surface vehicles for divers or to launch and retrieve ROVs or AUVs.


The footage captured at the PREZIOSO Linjebygg Subsea Test Center during trials in the Trondheimsfjord shows the potential of the Eelume vehicle to significantly improve


inspection and light intervention operations on subsea installations. The modular, snake-like design allows the Eelume vehicle to access hard to reach points on subsea structures while its ability to shift into a U-shaped dual arm configuration allows intricate interactions using a diverse toolset including torque tools, grippers and specialised maintenance equipment.


The trials verified and demonstrated the features of Eelume’s snake-like underwater robot in a deep-water, marine environment. Eelume confirmed that its vehicle has superior manoeuvrability, in a stable sensor and actuator platform, and can provide easy access to constrained areas not accessible by conventional underwater vehicles. The Eelume solution will dramatically save costs by reducing the use of expensive surface


vessels. The solution can be installed on both existing and new fields where typical jobs include; visual inspection, cleaning, and operating valves and chokes. These jobs account for a large part of the total subsea inspection and intervention spend.


Eelume AS is a company sourced from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and has teamed up with the NTNU Technology Transfer Office, Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil to develop the next generation of underwater robots.


March 2017 | www.sosmagazine.biz | p49


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