Offshore survey applications include:
- mapping (relief modeling);
- development of offshore resources (such as oil and gas, minerals, etc.): exploration, preliminary planning for the production activities;
- locate submerged wrecks and obstacles;
- find and photograph underwater archeological sites.
Before any subsea work can begin, the area must be surveyed to map the bathymetry and composition of the seafloor, detect the presence of resources, and ensure that there are no impediments to development.
Historically, towed systems performed these tasks. However, towed systems require a connection to a surface vessel, which limits their ability to maintain a constant altitude and requires cumbersome maneuvers between track lines.
There is also shallow water issue – if we see the ROV-approaches (Remotely Operated Vehicle) the carrier vessel usually has large displacement (tonnage) – 1000 ton and more. Such large vessels can not work in the depths less 20-30 meters taking in mind also the the sea bottom in many areas is not plane – there could be rocks, corals and other dangerous obstacles.
Divers for large production scale work are also not the right solution.
In many regions the weather can be very severe for all the season – for example in North Sea or in Arctic.
For any of these conditions AUV “X-3A” had been designed by BaltRobotics is the right and reliable solution.
AUVs collect data more efficiently than towed systems or ROVs. Without the constraints of a tether and umbilicals. AUVs can maneuver and navigate more precisely, enabling them to run accurate track lines and follow bottom contours. This reduces the number of track lines required to completely survey a designated area. In addition, AUVs can quickly perform very tight turns, which increase the ratio of survey time to the time required to position the system for the next track line, ultimately enabling faster data collection.
Another advantage of AUVs is the increased quality of the collected data. In addition, accurate navigation of X-3A allows the sensors to collect data at a constant altitude above the sea bottom, resulting in much greater data consistency.