Survey: World's largest pipelay vessel upgrades to Sonardyne Fusion Wideband
Posted on 14.03.2007 - 16:00 EDT in SURVEY NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links
The Swiss-based Allseas Group S.A. has recently upgraded the existing Sonardyne USBL acoustic positioning system aboard the Solitaire
pipelay vessel to use the latest Fusion Wideband technology. At 360 metres long, the Solitaire
is the world's largest pipelay vessel and has the capacity to lay pipes up to 60 inches in diameter. Equipped with Class 3 Dynamic Positioning (DP), the vessel frequently operates in water depths in excess of 2,000 metres and depends upon its Ultra-Short BaseLine system (USBL) for precise position referencing.
A key factor in Allseas' decision to upgrade to Fusion Wideband was the benefits offered by Sonardyne's unique ‘ping stacking' acoustic interrogation technique. Originally developed for ultra deep water drilling operations, ping stacking enables the USBL system to transmit acoustic interrogations to subsea transponders before the last reply was received. This provides a DP system with a position update every second independent of water depth.
often works in acoustically crowded environments where interference between vessels can cause significant operational issues. The upgrade to Wideband signal technology mitigates these problems through the availability of over 200 navigation reply channels, delivering true multi-operational capability. Wideband is also capable of providing greater immunity to noise, a ten fold improvement in measurement repeatability and faster position update rates when lowering structures onto the seabed.
The installation of the Fusion hardware had been scheduled to occur during a five day stop-over in the Bahamas. However, due to operational reasons this was reduced to just one and a half days. This deadline was achieved and allowed Solitaire to remain in service whilst making a smooth transition to the new technology.