Ashtead Technology secures underwater glider agreement

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK Ashtead Technology has signed a global asset management agreement with Blue Ocean Monitoring to store, maintain, and supply underwater gliders for ocean data monitoring.

The deal will see Blue Ocean Monitoring expand its service offering globally with Ashtead providing asset management services and project support from its offices in Aberdeen, Houston, and Singapore.  

Unlike autonomous vehicles (AUVs) which are driven by conventional propellers, the gliders operate using either buoyancy or wave motion propulsion mechanisms, which allows for longer deployment periods and the collection of large datasets continuously over extended time scales.  

The gliders are capable of transmitting data in real-time and can be deployed and recovered easily, at a fraction of the cost of traditional vessel-based or fixed-mooring monitoring approaches, lowering both project costs, and health, safety, and environmental risks.  

Tim Sheehan, commercial director at Ashtead Technology, said: “The gliders can be equipped with a choice of over 40 different sensors, and can be deployed in the water for up to a year at a time. With two-way satellite communications the gliders can be deployed and controlled anywhere in the world, they are highly weather resilient and have no environmental impact.”

Simon Illingworth, managing director of Blue Ocean Monitoring, added: “Initially used extensively for academic and military applications, these gliders are now increasingly being embraced by the oil and gas community for a wide range of purposes. 

“Oil and gas applications include pipeline leak detection, oil spill response, decommissioning studies, dredge/construction plume monitoring, environmental monitoring and metocean studies.”


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