John E. Chance & Associates, Inc., of Lafayette, La., has developed an innovative process to capture a clearer picture of the ocean bottom and construction near a structure. This process was developed to meet the challenges oil companies
are facing as they exceed capabilities of surface positioning systems used
to position vessels during redevelopment of existing fields.
Chance incorporates a Sonavision 4000 scanning sonar system to collect data of seafloor features, along with a proprietary image enhancement and analysis software
. The combination creates a greater definition and resolution of seafloor features and hazards, which is beneficial during preparation of maintenance or redevelopment work at a well site or structure.
The image of the seafloor is manipulated and matched to known geographical points (such as the legs of a structure). The seafloor features observed with the scanning sonar are then mapped into an AUTOCAD drawing of the preliminary basemap of the site. A final basemap of the site is then produced along with a report and any pertinent frame prints of the sonar image