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Vallourec, FORSSEA Robotics & iXblue to Inspection Subsea Pipelines using Drones

Steel News - Published on Fri, 25 Sep 2020

Image Source: Drone Inspection Subsea Pipelines
Leader in premium tubular solutions Vallourec is working with FORSSEA Robotics and iXblue, a company recognized for its expertise in inertial navigation, subsea positioning and autonomous technologies to develop a pipeline inspection solution combining subsea drones and the use of visual markers, removing the need for surface vessels. In order to reduce pipeline inspection operational costs, Vallourec, iXblue and FORSSEA decided to develop a solution using visual markers directly integrated on subsea pipelines that enables vessel-free subsea navigation.

The project relies on barcodes placed on installed pipes, resulting in many passive positioning references logged with their own coordinates during the laying operation which will remain accessible throughout the life of the field. These markers would be used as navigation aids for subsea drones equipped with FORSEEA cameras and iXblue’s inertial navigation system that easily relay the pipelines’ locations to the operators thus removing the need for acoustic positioning systems and costly mother vessels. To remain visible to divers and subsea drones throughout the project’s lifespan, these markers are long-term resistant to marine growth and erosion.

Traditionally, the inspection of subsea pipelines and structures requires the use of a surface vessel (manned or unmanned) with acoustic positioning used to monitor the deployment of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) or Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). These subsea vehicles then collect the required information - such as a pipeline’s general aspect and route, anode consumption, free span, burial and crossing areas - using observation sensors.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Fri, 25 Sep 2020
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