Monitoring underwater structures
Norwegian subsea technology developer Kongsberg Maritime, has launched a unique solution for the detection of scouring, corrosion, deformation and marine growth, which can destabilise wind turbines and underwater structures causing expensive, and potentially environmentally hazardous damage.
On show at WindEnergy Hamburg 2014, the new K-Observer system, which is part of Kongsberg Maritime’s Modular Subsea Monitoring Network (MSM), provides accurate, remote hydroacoustic 3D monitoring using the Dual Axis Scanning Sonar (DAS) to continuously monitor the seabed and the substructure.
The 3D point cloud data created by the DAS is logged and transmitted to shore via the telemetry infrastructure of the K-Observer System (cabled, wireless or satellite) installed on the turbine. The system is designed for long-term installations and performs fully autonomously, from sensor control, data acquisition, to data processing, presentation of results and issuing of alarms (e.g. by text message or email).
K-Observer accurately scans and interprets the condition of the seabed around the base of the structure (scouring and sediment displacement), as well as the state of the substructure itself (deformation, marine growth and corrosion) so experts on shore can initiate immediate action or preventative maintenance if required. Kongsberg argues that this is a comparably low cost, safe and time efficient method of monitoring and detection compared to i.e. diver surveys.
K-Observer is an advanced system that not only monitors and observes the depth of the seabed around each wind turbine or subsea structure (scour and sediment displacement), which is important information in itself, but also provides insight regarding the current state of the substructure itself (deformation, marine growth and corrosion). This translates into lower intervention costs for maintaining the structure within the design parameters and avoids reductions in the life span of the wind turbine associated with unstable foundations and vibration induced structural fatigue.
K-Observer is a module of the Modular Subsea Monitoring Network system launched by Kongsberg Maritime at Oceanology International 2014 in March.
Kongsberg Maritime is a global marine technology company providing innovative and reliable technology solutions for all marine industry sectors including merchant, offshore, subsea and naval. Headquartered in Kongsberg, Norway, the company has manufacturing, sales and service facilities in 17 countries.
By Jake Frith
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