TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands – Thalassa Holdings subsidiary Autonomous Robotics is developing a flying node system to operate as a “swarm” of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for recording ocean bottom seismic (OBS) data.
OBS surveys record high-quality seismic data suited in particular for field appraisal and development. However, the cost of compiling this data at extreme depths and in complicated geology is high.
Autonomous Robotics claims its system could provide a tenfold increase in deployment and recovery rates compared to ROV-deployed nodes, which should help lower costs.
It foresees deployment of 3,500 flying nodes from a vessel, which would then descend (fly) to a predetermined position on the seabed.
The nodes are positioned using a USBL acoustic navigation system mounted on an unmanned surface vessel, allowing for both 3D (exploration) and 4D (production/life of field) seismic.
They will have the ability to remain on the seabed recording data for up to 60 days to cover a wide range of survey requirements.