Inspenet, September 12, 2023.
Oceaneering International has announced the introduction of a new unmanned surface vessel (USV) service through its underwater robotics division, intended to support remote prospecting tasks.
As part of an agreement between Exail and Oceaneering, the company will acquire its first DriX USV to support deepwater geophysical activities and asset inspections. This will include tasks such as autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) positioning and surveys in the high seas and nearshore areas.
Oceaneering improving its operational efficiency
Incorporating the DriX USV into offshore inspection and survey operations will allow the company to improve operational efficiency, reduce overall vessel presence time on the job site, and ultimately significantly decrease emissions. carbon.
Its range of USV services will be based on the implementation of independent positioning correction systems from Oceaneering’s C-NAV® group, with the aim of maintaining uninterrupted operations and, in this way, increasing reliability. Additionally, the service will incorporate a double layer of redundancy to ensure that the service continues without problems.
Eric Smith, senior director of surveying services at Oceaneering, said: “It is the natural progression of our extensive experience with remote operations that we combine the USVs with Oceaneering’s existing ROV and AUV fleets and land-based remote operations centers to offer significant opportunities to scale operations and drive greater efficiencies. The service will directly support market growth for IMRGE™, our integrated and customizable inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) strategy.”
For his part, Martin McDonald, Senior Vice President of Subsea Robotics, said: “We are excited to use the USV as part of our integrated service offering and combine it with our AUV systems, such as the Freedom™ vehicle. DriX allows us to remotely collect the same high-quality data with less operational impact, without the need for an offshore crew. “This reduces health, safety and environmental risks, while freeing up multi-service vessels to complete other tasks.”
Likewise, Olivier Cervantes, Vice President of Maritime Autonomy at Exail, said: “Oceaneering and Exail have a long-term partnership. It is a great pleasure to now collaborate in the expansion of underwater exploration thanks to automated systems such as DriX and Freedom. “This collaboration opens up new capabilities in the domains of subsea construction, inspection and survey.”
Since entering service in 2016, the DriX USV has accumulated many hours of operation and stands out for its ability to carry out supervised autonomous operations in various conditions thanks to its software and CortiX sensors, which are powered by artificial intelligence .
The shape and stability of the USV allow continuous operations to be carried out even in adverse conditions on the high seas, without negatively affecting the quality of the data obtained.
The speed and endurance of the USV also contribute to reducing downtime during transit and make it possible to carry out near-shore studies at high speed, resulting in obtaining optimal quality data in considerably shorter times than conventional methods. conventional. Furthermore, this approach reduces the environmental footprint as it only uses 2 liters of fuel per hour compared to a manned ship, thus contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions.