Acoustic and inertial operations step-change

Edd Moller presents Fusion 2 on launch day during OSEA 2018 in Singapore Edd Moller presents Fusion 2 on launch day during OSEA 2018 in Singapore

A new platform claiming a step-change reduction in complexity and overheads for offshore operations has been launched.

Sonardyne’s Fusion 2 Long BaseLine (LBL) and Inertial Navigation System (INS) software has been written from the ground up to offer marine survey contractors and offshore construction companies a single solution from which they can undertake field development projects faster and more easily than ever.

With Fusion 2, the separate software applications, vessel-fit hardware and often complex communication interfaces that have been typically required to support LBL, acoustically-aided INS and Sparse LBL operations, have been replaced with a single, unified solution.

Live in-water preview events held in the run-up to the launch in Singapore have provided audiences with the opportunity to experience first-hand how Fusion 2 will positively impact their offshore campaigns during the 2019 offshore season and beyond.

One of the benefits demonstrated is the ability to undertake the real-time SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping) calibration of a sparse LBL transponder array while you survey – until now a lengthy offline post-processing activity.

Significantly reducing survey time is central to another key innovation that arrives with Fusion 2. Sonardyne has re-engineered the digital signal processing protocols used by Fusion 2 to command and control seabed arrays of its Compatt LBL transponders and vehicle-mounted ROVNav transceivers to Wideband 3.

Wideband 3 allows, for the first time, sensor data (e.g. pressure, depth and temperature) from a Compatt to be to be embedded with navigation (ranging) telemetry data. Sonardyne claims that this will have a big impact on operations such as structure installation, accelerating update rates by a factor of 10 and eliminating issues operators currently face with latency.

To benefit from Wideband 3, Sonardyne has advanced its sixth-generation subsea hardware platform, with Compatt 6 and ROVNav 6 instruments now designated as ‘plus’ units, supplied as standard. To protect customers’ investments, these are backwardly compatible with existing inventories of Compatt 6s, which can also be upgraded to realise the potential of Fusion 2.

Edward Moller, Global Business Manager, Construction Survey, at Sonardyne, says, “Today’s release of Fusion 2 marks the culmination of years of engineering development work that builds on the achievements of our original Fusion platform by creating, for the first time, a single system surveyors can use for LBL aided INS operations and with more functionality and capability than they’ve had before.”

By Jake Frith

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