Sonardyne has partnered with USV (unmanned surface vessel) developer and operator HydroSurv Unmanned Survey in order to create new seabed-to-shore technologies for the offshore wind industry. Sonardyne’s intelligent seafloor and vessel-mounted instruments will be combined with HydroSurv’s REAV-40 USV to provide an end-to-end seabed-data-to-shore service that makes use of cloud-based services. The collaborative project is part-funded by Innovate UK through its Robotics for a Safer World initiative.
Sonardyne will provide its Mini-Ranger 2 Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) acoustic positioning system, as well as its SPRINT-Nav hybrid acoustic-INS navigation instrument which provides the USV with a backup when GNSS is compromised or where DVL bottom lock is out of range. The technology package, which also includes Sonardyne’s seafloor sensors and access to cloud-based services, will maximise the use of USVs in remote offshore environments.
Key elements of the new project include a self-transiting USV, acoustic positioning of and data harvesting from seabed instruments, real-time gathering of geo-referenced current profile data and live relay of information to operatives onshore through secure cloud-based systems. The project will also demonstrate the ability to overcome potential navigational limitations working in and around wind farms. The project will culminate in a series of demonstrations at an operational offshore windfarm site within the UK.
David Hull, founder and CEO of HydroSurv, commented: “he coronavirus pandemic has further underlined the benefit of using resilient USVs and flexible instruments, which enable continuous data-flow without sending personnel offshore. This has never been more important than today to safeguard routine monitoring and survey capabilities. Over the longer term, this approach will reduce the cost, risk, time and carbon footprint of gathering operational data.”
Geraint West, Global Business Manager, Oceanographic, at Sonardyne, said: “Combining USVs like HydroSurv’s REAV-40 with our seabed-data-to-shore technologies promises to bring a step change in the efficiency of asset monitoring and data gathering operations for the offshore wind industry. Using USVs, which can be deployed at short notice, can vastly reduce operator logistics, emissions, risk to humans and costs and will allow operators faster access to operationally important information about their wind farms.”