Sonardyne International has held a series of in-water demonstrations in Stonehaven Harbour on the East coast of Scotland to present the benefits of its 6G (Sixth Generation) acoustic positioning technology to key industry professionals.
For three days last week, Sonardyne set up a Long BaseLine (LBL) positioning network of six Compatt 6 transponders against the walls of the harbour, in depths of as little as two metres. A Dunker 6 LBL and telemetry transceiver was then used to perform an array calibration and collect acoustic range data. Chief surveyors, project managers and equipment rental specialists were amongst those given the opportunity to get hands-on with 6G by controlling the system from a demonstration vehicle set up on the quayside.
The event was organised to showcase 6G's speed and reliability in a simulated offshore scenario. Prior to the introduction of 6G last year, this kind of demonstration was simply not possible. Harbour environments like Stonehaven are a notoriously difficult place to demonstrate acoustics. Very shallow water, high walls and noise from vessels coming and going, present major causes of signal interference that conventional acoustic positioning systems struggle to overcome.
6G equipment uses Sonardyne's faster and more robust Wideband 2 digital ranging and telemetry protocols. This makes any acoustic positioning system operating with new technology, significantly more reliable and easier to operate thereby minimising operational risk, saving vessel time and reducing training requirements for offshore personnel.
As Jonathan Farquharson, Key Account Manager at Forum Energy Technologies remarked: "Having attempted Mk5 LBL in Stonehaven Harbour before, I found the speed and success of the 6G equipment impressive in such a difficult environment."
In addition to the LBL demonstration, Sonardyne also provided an overview of Autonomous Monitoring Transponder (AMT) technology. A unit was deployed within the harbour, logging temperature and depth at regular intervals throughout the week. 'Monitor' software was utilised to configure, command and recover the data set for analysis.
Alan MacDonald, Sales Manager for Sonardyne said: "This series of demonstrations gave us an excellent opportunity to show at first hand the product in action in a simulated arena. The technical advances that have come with 6G offer clients much improved performance and reliability across a huge breadth of offshore deployments and circumstances. Feedback following the demonstrations has been hugely positive and we look forward to holding further interactive sessions in the future."