The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Nov/Dec 2016


Pressing matters

USA-based BIRNS reports it has enhanced its existing moulding capabilities with the addition of a new custom 40-ton (36-tonne) hydraulic transfer press.

“It will provide additional firepower to BIRNS’ moulding facility for connector inserts, allowing computer controlled precision for functions like injecting glass reinforced epoxy and providing increased speed and output for large orders,” the company said.

Trimble introduces inertial positioning system for use in ports and harbours

Trimble, USA, has announced the release of a precise marine inertial positioning system which provides “robust 3D position, attitude and orientation data in the most challenging of marine environments”.

The new product is targeted at marine contractors who are constructing ports or waterways with dredging, placement or piling machines that need reliable position and orientation data, the company said.

“In some cases there is a need to precisely survey the waterway bed before the machines are moved off site,” said Trimble. “This system ensures precise data can be integrated with single beam or multibeam sonar allowing the hydrographic survey vessel to undertake progress and ‘as built’ surveys.”

The company said the system integrates a Trimble dual antenna GNSS receiver with the IMU sensor in one housing to compute a tightly coupled solution, “resulting in the most robust positioning solution possible”.

The firm added: “The system will keep delivering position and attitude even when used in compromising marine situations such as a congested port. Its performance surpasses loosely coupled solutions of a dual GNSS antenna receiver cabled to an IMU (pitch, roll, heave) sensor. To maintain productivity, data is delivered while dead reckoning in cases where satellite coverage is limited for short periods.”

New products for the relocation and recovery of AUVs and other assets
  • ELPF-553 flash-pinger

Falmouth Scientific, Inc. (FSI), USA, has announced two new products to assist in the relocation and recovery of autonomous underwater systems and assets – the SAF-553 stand-alone flasher and the ELPF-553 flash-pinger.

“These are extremely small, lightweight, battery-powered, intelligent devices that can be mounted directly on AUVs, gliders or other underwater equipment for recovery after their mission duration has elapsed,” said FSI. “Multiple user-programmable settings allow for selection of delay, timing, flashing and frequency options which enable use in a variety of different applications.”

The stand-alone flasher uses high-power, high-colour-temperature LEDs for optical flashing and the flash-pinger adds a pinger transmitter for acoustic tracking below the water surface. Several housing types are available to meet different depth requirements from 100 metres down to 1000 metres.

Underwater FMD system

UK-based Impact Subsea reports it has launched a “groundbreaking” underwater flooded member detection (FMD) system in collaboration with the Unique Group, United Arab Emirates.

The ISFMD offers a significant advancement in flooded member detection, providing a new level of clarity in non-destructive testing for the presence of water in underwater structures, according to the company.
“For use by divers or remotely operated vehicles, water level, depth of reading, position of the sensor probe and temperature of the water are all monitored and recorded,” said a spokesman for Impact Subsea. “With one-millimetre accuracy and a range in excess of 100 metres, the ISFMD system provides an exceptionally high accuracy reading.”

The spokesman added that an advanced software suite provides a visual indication of all sample points along the underwater member or structure being surveyed.  Upon completion of the survey, the software automatically generates a survey report with all recorded readings, he said.

Following collaboration in the development of the system, the Unique Group has been appointed as exclusive rental partner for the ISFMD system.

Commenting on the launch of the new system, Andy Doggett, survey equipment divisional director, Unique Group, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Impact Subsea on this exciting new FMD system. Following significant investment in Impact Subsea altimeters, depth sensors and FMD systems, we are able to meet customer demand for the latest underwater technology.”

Kongsberg adds SonarWiz interface to PulSAR sidescan

Kongsberg GeoAcoustics, UK, reports that users of its PulSAR sidescan sonar now has a new tool for real-time seafloor mapping thanks to a new interface with Chesapeake Technology’s (USA) SonarWiz mapping software.

The SonarWiz interface allows PulSAR users to acquire data from multiple sensors, process imagery in real-time, generate state-of-the-art mosaics, create detailed contact reports and produce sophisticated outputs leveraging a wide range of formats, according to the company.

“We wanted to give our users a much broader range of capabilities for data acquisition, analysis, post processing and reporting and the logical choice was SonarWiz,” said Bill Hone of Kongsberg GeoAcoustics. “While PulSAR was always designed for use in search and rescue operations, it now can be used effectively in a much broader set of mapping applications such as survey, hydrography and engineering.”

OceanServer launches next-generation EcoMapper AUV

OceanServer Technology, the USA-based manufacturer of commercial autonomous underwater vehicles, has announced the launch of the next generation EcoMapper.

The i3XO EcoMapper AUV is based on the robust Iver3-580 AUV platform and takes advantage of USA-based YSI Integrated Systems and Services’ expertise in water quality solutions, said a spokesman.

“The i3XO AUV utilises the YSI EXO water quality system to provide users high-resolution water quality data, sidescan sonar imaging, downward looking current profiling and an option for bathymetric surveying,” he added.

WFS and TSC introduce smart wireless subsea crack monitoring

WFS Technologies, UK, and TSC, UK, have launched Seatooth ACFM, a wireless smart NDT monitoring solution designed to reduce subsea inspection costs.

A spokesman for the companies said: “TSC’s ACFM array probe is a well-established tool that can be installed on offshore structures to monitor the growth of surface breaking cracks.

“Seatooth is an established subsea wireless communications system that provides reliable communications through seawater and through the splash zone. Seatooth is immune to biofouling, surface noise and turbidity.

“Combining the technologies together, Seatooth ACFM is a non-intrusive, easy to deploy wireless network solution which can be retro-fitted to offshore structures and subsea assets. Seatooth ACFM units are user-configured to take readings as required, from once a minute to once per month.”

The spokesman said Seatooth ACFM can be configured as standalone sensors or within subsea wireless networks. As standalone devices, information is harvested by ROV or a diver. When configured as a wireless network on offshore platforms, real-time data is streamed wirelessly through the splash zone to an asset management control station located either on the platform or on shore.

The systems come with an internal battery pack to support between five and 15 years of operation and are installed by light-class ROV deployed off platforms.

The ability to easily install the sensors to monitor aging assets means that the benefits of ACFM technology can now be offered even in the most challenging of environments, said the spokesman.
The new system delivers substantial cost savings to customers along with improved quality of information and is an essential tool for ageing asset management and lifetime extension strategies, he added.





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