HiSAS-equipped survey and pipeline inspection AUV Chercheur added to OFG fleet
OFG has invested in a 3000m-rated Hugin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), Chercheur, equipped with a sensor and software suite for efficient inspection of pipelines and infrastructure, pipeline route studies, site geohazard surveys, environmental monitoring surveys, and other seafloor-based applications such as UXO, archeology, salvage, and minerals exploration.
Chercheur is equipped with high resolution interferometric synthetic aperture sonar (HiSAS), multibeam echosounder EM2040, a sub-bottom profiler, an environmental geochemical sensing suite, a high resolution still photography camera, and an OFG Self-Compensating Magnetometer (SCM) system. Chercheur comes complete with all ancillary sensors to guarantee precision navigation and positioning.
OFG’s CTO Peter Kowalczyk commented, “When considering this investment, we felt that synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) is the technology by which other sonar imagery will be measured in the future and that it was a requirement for any new AUV purchase. The incredible imagery produced by the HiSAS system confirms this.”
The combination of Chercheur’s technology, OFG’s experienced AUV operations team, and the expertise of our technology and commercial partners extends the possibility to unveil seafloor properties and characteristics to new levels of resolution and detection.
Included in that extended reach, OFG offers with Chercheur its AUV services for very shallow water operations allowed by the advanced navigation and positioning systems, and the efficient coverage of large areas by the HiSAS system even in shallow water. Detailed camera surveys are also possible in water depths ranging from 10m to 3000m with the EM2040-aided acoustic tracking and following capabilities.
The incredible high resolution imagery produced by the HiSAS system gives offshore oil and gas companies the ability to build and maintain a precise GIS database of the positions and conditions of their seafloor assets, natural features, marine archeology inventories, UXOs and other features of interest such as plumes. Seafloor minerals exploration teams will also benefit greatly with regards to geological interpretation.