The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

May/Jun 2017


Forum signs Comanche deal with Baltic Diver Germany

USA-headquartered Forum Energy Technologies has announced the sale of two Sub-Atlantic Comanche ROVs to international diving contractor Baltic Taucherei- und Bergungsbetrieb Rostock GmbH (Baltic Diver Germany).

Forum said the deal, supported by distributor Scholz Ingenieur Büro, Germany, will see both systems delivered following an optimised manufacturing schedule.

“The Forum Sub-Atlantic Comanche was chosen due to its high thrust-to-weight ratio and compact laydown requirements which make it ideally suited for the operating environments expected by Baltic Diver,” the company added.

Baltic Diver general manager Eyk-Uwe Pap said: “We have a long association with Comanche vehicles having used them in support of our operations on a number of previous occasions. We have found this ROV to be very capable and reliable and it will be an excellent asset to complement our operational requirements. By investing in our own vehicles, we are in a strong position to capitalise on the increasing opportunities in Baltic Sea wind farm business.”

The remotely operated vehicles will initially be used to support Baltic Diver’s recent contract awards for ordnance clearance and cable lay inspection operations in the Baltic Sea. The second Comanche will be used as a backup in support of the main vehicle.

Malcolm Johnston, sales manager for Forum Subsea Vehicles, said: “Baltic Diver is a highly respected offshore services contractor in Germany. The company has recently expanded its established diving business to offer a comprehensive ROV capability to meet the increasing demand for ROV services in the Baltic Sea. Purchasing two Sub-Atlantic Comanche systems to support these operations is a clear demonstration of their confidence in our vehicles.”

M2 and Frontera Offshore team up in GoM
  • M2 Subsea ROVs are loaded onto the MPSV 'Tehuana'

M2 Subsea, UK, has joined forces with Frontera Offshore, USA, to deliver remedial pipeline work for Permaducto, a subsidiary of Grupo Protexa, Mexico, in the Ku-Maloob-Zaap (KMZ) oilfield in the Bay of Campeche, 65 miles (105 kilometres) north east of Cuidad del Carmen, Mexico. This contract also marks the first award for M2 Subsea in the Gulf of Mexico region.

The project will see personnel from M2 Subsea’s Houston base on board Frontera Offshore’s chartered multipurpose support vessel Tehuana, to facilitate pre- and post-lay surveys for Frontera Offshore. The survey work will be carried out along a 7.5-kilometre section of the KMZ-94 pipeline to be stabilised for the pipeline contractor Permaducto.

Two Triton work-class ROVs will be deployed from the MPSV Tehuana to deliver the survey services, with 277 mattresses being installed at a depth of approximately 250 feet (76 metres).

M2 Subsea’s chief executive officer, Mike Arnold, said: “Our reputation as a global ROV services company is steadily growing. We are fully focused on developing and demonstrating this further through safe, well executed, value adding project delivery throughout our client base. This, together with our flexible, low cost model, augments our overall goal to become one of the world’s leading independent ROV project management and execution companies.

“The Frontera Offshore contract demonstrates our willingness and desire to collaborate with other like-minded companies in order to provide strong, knowledgeable partnerships so clients feel comfortable working within region.”

Brad McNeill, chief executive officer of Frontera Offshore, said: “Frontera is pleased to have been awarded this project, and especially to be collaborating with M2 Subsea for a successful campaign. This is a big step toward our goal of becoming a leading subsea contractor in the sector.”

LSP award for SMP

Submarine Manufacturing and Products (SMP), UK, reports the award of a contract to supply a hyperbaric life support package (LSP) for Baku Shipyard in Azerbaijan.

The LSP is to be used on a vessel in the Caspian Sea.

“The product is a fully transportable self-contained unit, suitable for use in remote locations as a basic shore-based reception facility. It is equipped with the essential services required to support a self-propelled hyperbaric lifeboat or hyperbaric rescue chamber following emergency evacuation from the mother vessel saturation diving complex,” said SMP.

“All aspects of the project were designed, manufactured and tested in-house to IMCA D018, D024 and D052 as standard by our skilled workforce in Preston, Lancashire,” the company added.

Made up of a variety of components, the life support package contains a control area, machinery area, twin heating units, twin chilling units, chiller ventilation louvre and 400VAC three-phase incoming electrical.

BlueView delivers compact subsea imaging sonars

Teledyne BlueView, USA, has announced the sale of a number of M900-130 subsea imaging sonars to Oceanscan, UK.

The firm said: “The Teledyne BlueView M Series which superseded the popular P Series in 2012 has rapidly become a work-horse for the subsea industry.”

It added: “They are widely recognised as the industry’s most compact, full-featured 2D multibeam imaging sonars. Engineered to fit in small, tight spaces, the M Series is 30 percent smaller than the older P Series and delivers the same crisp, real-time, video-like sonar imagery.”

BIRNS selected by DeepFlight for sub connectivity solutions

BIRNS, USA, reports it has been selected by DeepFlight, the USA-based manufacturer of high performance personal submarines, to supply a range of custom penetrator assemblies for its newest submarine model, the DeepFlight Super Falcon 3S.

The high density, ABS certified custom penetrators will be crafted from anodised aluminum and rated to 400 feet (122 metres). The penetrator assemblies will be a key piece of the Super Falcon 3S, a craft which was specifically designed for ocean tourism and to provide underwater excursions at luxury resorts around the world, said BIRNS.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with DeepFlight as they prepare for the exciting launch of the DeepFlight Super Falcon 3S submarine,” said Eric Birns, BIRNS president and CEO. “It’s wonderful that DeepFlight is creating more opportunities for the public to access and experience the ocean in such a unique and exciting manner. We’re proud to have been chosen to support them in this innovative new facet of marine exploration.”

Van Oord orders SMD trencher
  • Van Oord used a QTrencher 1400 on the Gemini offshore wind farm

UK-based Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) has signed a contract with Van Oord of the Netherlands for the manufacture and delivery of a QTrencher 1600 following the successful deployment of a QTrencher 1400 on the Gemini offshore wind farm.

The QTrencher 1600 is an evolved QTrencher 1400 in which the power available to the trenching tools has been optimised primarily for offshore wind applications in shallow water.

Scheduled for delivery in Q1 2018, the high-power trenching machine will be supplied with an SMD designed umbilical winch, along with jetting and mechanical cutting tools to tackle a wide range of seabed conditions.

SMD said additional functionality includes beach operation to offer cable installation for export and inter array campaigns.

“Van Oord have been using QTrencher 1400 on their Gemini installation campaign so already have good experience with our technology. It’s a strong endorsement of our quality and performance in the field to be able to supply direct to a contractor like Van Oord,” said Paul Davison, managing director of SMD Trenching, Mining and Renewables.

The equipment will be loaded directly onto Van Oord’s cable-laying vessel Nexus from SMD’s Turbinia Works in Wallsend.

SMD Services will be providing a comprehensive service support package for Van Oord.

Ocean Infinity adds two more Kongsberg HUGIN vehicles to its AUV fleet

USA-based seabed survey company Ocean Infinity reports it has purchased two more autonomous underwater vehicles from Kongsberg Maritime, Norway.

This will increase Ocean Infinity’s fleet of HUGIN 6000 AUVs from six to eight vehicles, which will be used worldwide to collect seabed data.

“The fleet of AUVs will be operated simultaneously, each AUV programmed with an independent mission plan. Each AUV can reach depths of 6000 metres and has an approximate endurance of 48 hours,” the company said.

Ocean Infinity added that all of its AUVs come standard with sidescan sonar, multibeam ecosounder, sub-bottom profiler, conductivity/temperature/depth sensor and self-compensating magnetometer.


Buoyancy package

Trelleborg, Sweden, reports its applied technologies operation has engineered and manufactured a custom syntactic foam buoyancy package for the Schmidt Ocean Institute, USA, for use on its new remotely operated vehicle SuBastian.

The Schmidt Ocean Institute underwater robotic research programme includes the design and development of a 4500-metre depth rated robotic vehicle for use on the research vessel Falkor. The ROV is outfitted with a suite of sensors and scientific equipment to support data and sample collection, as well as interactive research, experimentation and technology development. The buoyancy package on SuBastian is made from Trelleborg’s Eccofloat TG30, a high performance syntactic foam.

Bob Kelly, managing director within Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation, said: “We are very proud to be part of this pioneering adventure and to work with Schmidt on developing a syntactic foam that met their requirements. One of the challenges with deepwater syntactic foam is producing the lightest possible foam for a given depth which translates into maximum uplift or buoyancy for the vehicle. A high strength to weight ratio means our customers get the industry’s maximum uplift or buoyancy per cubic foot, allowing them to design their vehicle with a lower volume buoyancy package, reducing costs and improving vehicle performance and handling.

“We were able to create the precise buoyancy package needed for SuBastian, ensuring success for the future commercialisation of this project. The unique customisable design coupled with the selection of Trelleborg’s proven Eccofloat material will provide many years of service with the flexibility to adapt to all future equipment and mission requirements.”

UC Davis takes delivery of Slocum glider

USA-based Teledyne Webb Research (TWR) reports the sale and delivery of a Slocum glider to the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), USA. After its maiden flight in Antarctica, where the vehicle was initially used to examine physical processes of ice shelves in the Western Ross Sea, it has now been delivered to Davis where plans are underway for its new deployment in Lake Tahoe.

The glider shipped to UC Davis is equipped with a Sea-Bird, USA, SBE pumped CTD, WET Labs, USA, FLBBCD sensor and two customer supplied sensors including an Aanderraa, Norway, oxygen optode and a Sonotronics, USA, fish pinger.

The vehicle was initially used in Western Ross Sea by Dr Alexander Forrest from UC Davis and an international team of researchers on a collaborative study of ice/ocean processes in the region. Forrest’s team collaborated on a robotics investigation of the ice shelves using a Teledyne Gavia, Iceland, AUV from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and UC Davis’ new TWR Slocum glider.

The team deployed the AUV in an effort to map the bottom of the Nansen ice shelf while the Slocum glider “patrolled” in front of the ice shelf looking for evidence of fresh water and capturing change over time. While AUVs provide a snapshot look at the bottom of the ice shelf during a specific moment in the tidal range, a glider running on two-week missions will hopefully capture ebbs and means during the entire tidal cycle. The combined information could provide important data on the rate of melting and separation of these ice shelves.





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