Replacing a critical system
Through more than 70.000 kilometers of completed ROTV (remotely operated towed vehicle) based pipeline inspection operations in the past decade, Fugro Survey Limited said it has always given priority to offering full compliance with customer requirements. These include simultaneously carrying more than one operational ROTV systems on Fugro's Dynamic Positioning Survey Vessel, the M/V Fugro Discovery. This principle is set to enable operators to perform a hot-swap of vehicles, the company said, hereby minimizing downtime, maximizing system utilization and effectively securing fast results for pipeline inspection clients.
At the beginning of the 2013 pipeline inspection season, client requirements led to Fugro needing to move fast to acquire a new ROTV vehicle.
Instant ocean business
The approach of Fugro to resolve this matter would soon prove to be of a proactive nature - and when delegates from Fugro paid a visit to the MacArtney stand at Ocean Business 2013, they were out for more than merely catching a glimpse of the latest developments in underwater technology.
As often before, MacArtney had brought a FOCUS-2 vehicle and lined it up for show as an eye catcher at the company's Ocean Business stand. After a to-the-point talk with MacArtney's Sales Manager of Ocean Science, Fugro progressed to place an order for the actual on-display FOCUS-2 vehicle.
Dynamic teamwork makes for speedy delivery
Fugro said it would have been happy to take the FOCUS-2 home in direct continuation of the show. However, to comply with custom Fugro specifications, the vehicle needed to undergo a range of preparations and modifications. These needed to be accomplished and the vehicle delivered in record time, challenging MacArtney technicians to perform on the edge of capacity. Since FOCUS-2 systems operated by Fugro are fitted with EdgeTech 2200-M integrated side-scan sonar systems operating at 300 and 600kHz to provide high resolution data with improved signal-to-noise ratios - the involvement of EdgeTech sonar technicians was required as well. In just three weeks, a team effort led the transformation of this display model ROTV into a fully equipped and operational FOCUS-2 system, ready to serve with Fugro to offer efficient, high definition acoustic pipeline inspection services in the North Sea.
The MacArtney FOCUS-2 ROTV system
The FOCUS series of remotely operated vehicles (ROTV) was introduced by MacArtney in 1989 and since then, it has been used for underwater pipeline inspection tasks. In 2006, Fugro replaced existing FOCUS vehicles with the latest generation MacArtney FOCUS-2 system. In addition to providing increased stability (decimeter accuracy in height above seabed, plus superior roll/pitch/yaw control), the FOCUS-2 uses state-of-the-art MacArtney fibre-optic telemetry for vehicle and sensor communication, resulting in improved data quality and a more precise image of the pipeline., the company said.
In addition, increased capacity allows the FOCUS-2 to carry a broad range of sensor packages and underwater equipment including digital side-scan sonar, multi-beam sonar, sub-bottom profiler, fiber-optic gyro, magnetometer, sound velocity sensor, MRU, INS and others.