C & C Technologies recently returned from the successful field demonstration of the ULS-500-Profiler, a subsea laser scanner developed by 2G Robotics to capture high resolution micro-bathymetry of pipelines, surrounding sea beds and other subsea assets of interest.
Aboard the research vessel, Sea Scout, C & C’s team, marine archaeologists and representatives from Chevron and Total monitored the projects progress with expectations of capturing the data needed to evaluate pipeline integrity and understand free-span segments with more accuracy.
The ULS-500 Profiler underwater laser scanner generated this point cloud data of a German U Boat.
This type of inspection was traditionally performed by tools such as sonar, which do a good job of surveying large areas, but lack the ability to capture the details provided by laser scanners. “We always suggest to our customers to use a multi-sensor approach, allowing them to get the best of both technologies,” explained Jason Gillham, Founder and CEO of 2G Robotics. “Sonar is capable of scans over a much larger area than our laser scanners, however, it can not obtain the level of resolution that the laser technology provides.”
2G Robotics’ ULS-500-Profiler was selected by C & C Technologies over other high resolution subsea survey equipment since it is able to provide higher resolutions and greater data collection rates than other systems that were considered. With the goal of higher resolution and faster speed at the forefront, 2G Robotics and C & C Technologies collaborated together to develop and integrate a customized configuration of the ULS-500-Profiler to one of C & C’s Hugin AUV systems.
The ULS-500 Profiler is configurable and can be integrated with existing AUV and ROV systems, operating similar to a multibeam sonar but with millimetre resolution. “Salt water, pressure and ever changing seabed conditions challenge the integrity of subsea assets, making frequent detailed investigation for integrity and positioning essential. If improvements in technology such as laser scanning can provide higher resolution data at a faster capture rate, asset owners would be in a better position to have a more comprehensive understanding of their asset at more frequent intervals.” Explains Jami Cheramie, V.P. Systems Development with C&C Technologies.
Rough seas posed no problem for the deployment of the Hugin AUV. Equipped with the new ULS-500 Profiler laser scanner, it was deployed into the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Free span segments of pipeline were scanned along with various archaeological sites of interest. Onlookers were impressed by the level of detail being obtained with the ULS-500 Profiler. ” The data was amazing, we were seeing free spans we hadn’t been able to see with other systems,” was one of the comments shared.
With 2G Robotics’ new configurable ULS-500-Profiler validated for subsea inspection use, engineering analysis of subsea assets can be performed faster and with greater certainty, equipping asset managers to make more informed decisions.