Fugro says Echo Surveyor Ready for Service

Fugro's Hugin 3000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), named "Echo Surveyor" completed commissioning and final manufacturers acceptance tests on schedule at Kongsberg Maritime's base in Horton, Norway on the last week of January 2005.

Full sea trials were conducted near Horten-Indre Lanv, offshore South Norway through to early February, testing navigation, control and payload systems. Successful payload trials were performed on EM2000 and Edgetech Full spectrum integrated sidescan sonar and sub-bottom profiler. Echo Surveyor was tested as an integrated deep water survey package with Fugro's tried and tested survey vessel M/V Geo Prospector acting as 'mother ship'.

Echo Surveyor was put through its paces on an offshore demonstration day, attended by some of Fugro's customers from Shell Expro and Statoil, on 3rd February. This took place offshore South Norway, onboard Fugro's dedicated survey vessel M/V Geo Prospector. Deepwater trials were performed in Sognefjord where Echo Surveyor conducted a deepwater calibration and survey with all payload sensors in 1200 metres of water depth.

Echo Surveyor can be equipped with a range of payload sensors depending on the application or user needs. For deep water survey the standard is:

  • EM2000 200 kHz Multibeam echo-sounder

  • Edgetech Full Spectrum Chirp seafloor mapping system comprising sidescan sonar and sub-bottom profiler.

  • Conductivity, temperature, depth system

  • Tightly coupled inertial navigation system

  • Echo Surveyor will be deployed from one of Fugro's dedicated survey or construction support vessels or a local vessel of convenience depending on project requirements.

    Much of the success of the acceptance tests was due to Fugro's AUV team of specialist engineers and survey specialists who have been working with Kongsberg Maritime since late September. The team was drawn from key staff involved in previous AUV, ROV and geophysical operations and has been involved in the final build, integration of sensors and assembly. Time in Horton was also spent in training of operators and preparation of fully documented operating procedures.

    Echo Surveyor is intended to serve customers with deepwater hydrocarbon field developments or regional seabed mapping requirements. Fugro has built up a considerable track record of managing complex field development survey projects involving integrated geophysical and geotechnical services.

    Echo Surveyor is the latest generation of specialist deepwater survey tools that help Fugro's customers plan their hydrocarbon field developments. The tightly coupled Inertial Navigation system adds rigor to the positioning of hazards and features. The tight turning circle - Echo Surveyor can turn almost in it's own length - enormously reduces the time to change between survey lines.

    The benefits to the clients in using Echo Surveyor are:

  • Improved data quality and positioning accuracy enables a confident interpretation of seabed and sub-seabed conditions

  • Confident interpretation permits assured engineering that reduces risk and reduces cost.

  • Faster data acquisition combined with tried and tested onboard reporting routines and high-speed satellite data link delivers faster results to the asset team.

  • Faster results delivery can reduce development time and bring forward oil field revenue