Sub-sea specialist Tritech, based in the United Kingdom and represented in China by China Ores in Qingdao, has provided profiling sonar equipment for an underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) used to inspect an undersea pipeline from the Bohai Oil Field in Bohai Bay, north-eastern China.
The inspection was part of a trial undertaken as part of the Underwater Pipeline Maintenance System of the 863 Hi-Tech Programme, organised by the Ocean Oil Engineering Co. Ltd. and developed by Shanghai Jiaotong University, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing institute of Petrochemical Technology and Harbin Engineering University.
The Tritech SSK DFP (Super SeaKing Dual Frequency Profiling Sonar) provides a plotted acoustic image of the seabed surface, highlighting any structural differences and objects on the seafloor. It provides the ROV operators, located on the operating vessel, with an accurate picture of the sea bed topography.
The successful trial means the Underwater Pipeline Maintenance System and its associated equipment - including the Tritech SSK DFP can now be used for pipeline inspections for all of China's offshore oil and gas fields in the future.
The Tritech SSK DFP is mounted on an ROV, pointing the transducer face down towards the seabed. They are usually operated in pairs and fixed to the port and starboard sides of the ROV. The Tritech SSK DFP operates by rotating a transducer attached to a stepper motor through a number of angular 'ping' positions within a defined scan width. Between successive 'ping' positions there is a fixed step angle which is dependent on the resolution setting of the Profiler head.
The 863 Hi-Tech Programme is a project funded and administered by the government of the People's Republic of China and is intended to stimulate the development of advanced technologies in a wide range of fields. The name 863 comes from the fact that the programme was created in the third month of 1986.