A consortium led by WFS Ltd has launched the world's first wireless RF underwater Broadband Data Link at Oceanology International 2008 in London in March 2008.
The Type S5510 Data Link uses the latest electromagnetic digital technology to enable wireless high data rate transmission through water avoiding the need to wet-mate.
Applications include high speed data transfer from sensors, such as seismic data loggers, pipeline monitoring systems and subsea control systems to unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs, ROVs and AUVs). UUVs can communicate wirelessly at broadband rates with subsea devices at up to 10m. The time to transfer data is reduced significantly leading to operating cost savings.
Performance is unaffected by acoustic noise, turbidity mud or ice and data can cross through the water/air interface. It can also be used for through ground/rock applications.
The Data Link is one of 5 products developed for the offshore Oil and Gas industry under a £1.1m, two-year research project to develop the wireless equipment. This research will be invaluable for oceanographic and environmental monitoring and through improved communications will increase safety for oil and gas industry workers.
The key aim of this project, which is supported by an investment from the Technology Strategy Board, is to develop a number of leading edge products that incorporate underwater radio technology.
The Data Link is the second product launched in this programme, the first being the hybrid Radio Acoustic Modem RAM-300 in September 2007.
Wireless Fibre Systems Ltd and its partners, subsea companies Tritech International Ltd and Insensys Oil & Gas Ltd are developing innovative wireless subsea products to be used in bespoke systems for use by companies involved in underwater exploration, monitoring and oil product extraction.
Wireless Fibre Systems Ltd is the world leader in underwater electromagnetic RF technology. Based in Livingston in Scotland, WFS recently launched the world's first underwater Radio Modem targeted at environmental monitoring, oil & gas and defence applications. The company was announced as the Overall Winner of the UK MoD's top innovation award at the Defence Technology Exchange.