FREHAM, UK – CCC Underwater Engineering is preparing for a second phase survey of 2,000 km (1,243 mi) of pipelines in the Arabian Gulf.
The company will inspect the final 102 of the 316 pipelines using a Saab Seaeye Leopard underwater robot, the aim being to achieve precise repeatable survey data, to a baseline accuracy below 0.5 m (1.64 ft)
According to Saab Seaeye, this type of work in extremely shallow water along different sized pipelines for extended periods requires a large array of high-definition filming and sensing equipment.
Onboard the Leopard there are three HD cameras with 1080i interlacing, two Kongsberg M3 profiling sonars, Sonardyne Mini-Ranger and SPRINT-Nav 500 Hybrid inertial navigation systems, a Valeport bathy suite including altimeter, Valeport mini sound velocity profiler, MCS’ 3D cloud system, a laser line generator, corrosion protection and ultrasonic probes.
When long excursions are necessary the host vessel must remain around 70 m (229 ft) clear of platforms for safety reasons. On those occasions the Leopard must navigate for up to 100 m (328 ft) to fulfil the pipeline inspection, said to be particularly challenging in shallow water.