Collaboration aims to speed up ROV pipeline inspections

N-Sea’s vessels will use this new technology, including the Siem Barracuda
N-Sea’s vessels will use this new technology, including the Siem Barracuda. (Courtesy N-Sea)

Offshore staff

ZIERIKZEE, the Netherlands – Subsea services provider N-Sea and the University of Strathclyde have secured funding from the Data Lab Innovation Centre for research project to automate subsea pipeline inspection.

N-Sea is working in this project with the university’s Institute of Sensors Signals and Communications at the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

David Murray, N-SE survey and inspection data centre manager, said: “We have seen ROV technology evolve significantly over the years. However, inspection operations still require ROV pilots and inspection engineers who annotate the data acquired.

“By working closely together, we aim to automate the inspection process and operate ROVs at previously impossible speeds.”

Over the past decade, the company adds, subsea inspection has advanced in terms of sensors and high definition cameras, but annotation remains a largely manual process.

The approaches and techniques adopted by the university and N-Sea have never before been attempted in the subsea environment, the duo claim, and have the potential to transform the inspection industry.


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