Applied Signal Technology, Inc., a market leader in advanced underwater imaging systems as well as other intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance systems, today announced that it had recently assisted C & C Technologies, Inc., using its PROSAS Surveyor synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) system to survey the integrity of seven pipeline structures in the Gulf of Mexico for a major oil company. Specifically, AST was tasked to evaluate the critical positioning of mattresses that are used to protect exposed pipelines from marine traffic, tidal scour, and storm impact and to determine whether structural repairs were required. C & C Technologies, Inc. is a privately-owned international surveying and mapping company specializing in deepwater services.
Aboard the former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ship, the Ferrell, PROSAS Surveyor performed a 24/7, two-day mission and acquired sonar data with one square inch resolution over 150 meters range per side. The system's ability to produce high definition, photographic-quality, real-time acoustic imagery across the entire transmission range resulted not only in superior seabed imagery, but also in increased area coverage rates. This enabled C & C Technologies to complete a faster, more cost-effective pipeline inspection survey. The level of detail produced by PROSAS Surveyor enabled the customer to evaluate exposed pipeline structures and pinpoint the exact location for necessary structural repairs, thereby mitigating the need for significant and unnecessary dive operation costs.
Dr. John F. Pesaturo, Vice President of AST's Sensor Systems Division, said: "This deployment marks the first time that synthetic aperture sonar technology has been used in the Gulf of Mexico for subsea pipeline survey operations. AST is pleased with the accuracy and expedience with which our PROSAS Surveyor performed. The key differentiator of SAS technology was demonstrated when an area-of-interest, previously identified by a conventional side-scan sonar system, indicated the need for a replacement mattress. After only two passes, our system revealed that the area was not exposed, but merely a mattress folded over on itself. This finding enabled the customer to avoid unnecessary dive operation costs, more than offsetting the cost of our participation in the survey."