Pick any offshore field developed in the last 35 years and the chances are Sonardyne’s Long BaseLine (LBL) acoustic positioning equipment has played a part in its construction, from installing structures and tracking ROVs to conducting spoolpiece metrologies. Fusion 6G is the company’s sixth generation LBL platform, evolved to meet users’ requirements for software that is powerful yet simple to use with subsea hardware that can be configured for many different applications. Edd Moller, Global Business Manager for Construction Survey and Peter Major, Survey Manager, pick out the top reasons to invest.
1 Trusted Solutions
Decades of development and experience
Fusion 6G is the net result of nearly four decades of LBL experience. Over this time, the development of ‘best practice’ techniques and proven computations deliver exceptional subsea positioning performance no matter how deep, how shallow or how complex the task is.
Specifying Sonardyne LBL offers the lowest risk solution encompassing the best performing technology, free consultative help and a 24/7 global support network. The success of Fusion 6G is testimony to the abundant wealth of knowledge and experience available throughout Sonardyne that directly contributes to the success of clients’ subsea projects.
The most precise at any depth
Regardless of water depth, the precision of Fusion 6G is the same and far exceeds other surface installed positioning systems such as USBL. This allows field developments to be planned to the same specification in deep and shallow water, safe in the knowledge that the highly accurate Wideband 2 acoustic signals found inside 6G hardware will allow for the precise installation of subsea structures, ROV tracking and accurate acoustic metrologies.
3 Multiple Applications
It can do anything you want.
Using the same equipment, it is possible to perform any project ranging from wide area subsea positioning through to highly accurate metrology measurements. LBL arrays of 6G ‘Compatt’ transponders can be used for positioning vehicles such as ROVs while mobile transponders can be placed on oil and gas structures to provide positioning and other information such as structure heading, pitch and roll or any other variable that needs monitoring. LBL arrays are also used for seabed settlement studies and pipe and cable touchdown monitoring where descent rate is an important factor.
As big or as small as you need it to be
6G LBL seabed arrays can be scaled to suit any project. Array transponders can be placed in seabed tripods in order to obtain centimetric positioning for tasks such as metrology and structure installation. Alternatively, they can be deployed on floats to a set height above the seabed that makes a compromise between accuracy and distance. Compatts deployed on strops can easily range over 3,000 metres between themselves and provide positioning to less than 50 centimetres at the same time. This accuracy allows for most field wide positioning tasks whilst reducing the number of seabed transponders. Even fewer transponders can be used by using SPRINT, Sonardyne’s acoustically aided INS system.
5 Vessel Topside
Flexibility to interface with any transceiver
As all Sonardyne 6G transceivers use the same communications language, it is simple to interchange between ROVNav 6, Dunker 6 or HPT USBL transceivers. Each transceiver can be easily interfaced with Fusion 6G depending on the subsea operation. Additionally, Sonardyne seabed LBL transponders also support the HPR400 acoustic signal architecture which allows them to be calibrated using USBL systems available from other manufacturers and suppliers.
6 Trained Workforce
People already know how to use it
With thousands of people having passed through the Sonardyne Training Academy, there is a readily available pool of highly skilled and experienced LBL operators. This ensures LBL equipment is well mobilised and projects are carried out correctly and efficiently. Procedures are well understood, techniques have been finessed and jobs can be planned safe in the knowledge that skilled offshore personnel will carry them out.
7 Sonardyne Wideband® 2
The signal technology behind Fusion 6G
When exclusively using 6G hardware, operators have access to the latest Sonardyne Wideband 2 acoustic navigation and telemetry options. Signal quality metrics are calculated for all received Wideband 2 acoustic signals and all this information is reported as part of the range or telegram message. Users can then be confident that power and gain settings are correct and that the direct signal has been detected, reducing risk for acoustic metrology operations. Additionally, these figures can be used to optimally weight an acoustically aided INS. With the extra signal length and data bits in a Wideband 2 signal, the effects of multipath are clearer to mitigate against.
Full or range-aided LBL
Fusion 6G is fully compatible with Sonardyne’s SPRINT INS system. As a manufacturer of both INS and LBL components, only Sonardyne can provide such a tightly coupled solution. With its ease of use and class-leading performance, SPRINT INS can use either the full Fusion 6G solution or just the ranges from the LBL network in order to reduce the number of seabed transponders. Although it is possible to navigate from only a single transponder, it is only with two or more ranges that system redundancy can be used to provide confidence of the INS position.
9 Version 1.12 Software
Now available for Windows 7
Fusion 6G builds on Sonardyne’s renowned LBL software application to provide support for the latest generation acoustic instruments. In maintaining a familiar front end software interface along with fully proven wizards to command subsea hardware, the switch to 6G can be considered a low risk process for existing users Fusion LBL has recently undergone a large software development campaign to migrate it to the Windows 7 platform. In addition, features such as full multi-user setup and operation, auto transponder discovery mode, automatic power and gain, interface to the NSH control hub and remote access to the scripting tool will soon be available. The latest Fusion LBL software upgrade can be found at www.sonardyne.com or via firstname.lastname@example.org. However, version 1.11 is still available for those running Windows XP or do not require the latest features.t
10 Tried and Tested
Independently verified by customers
The full least squares computations within Fusion 6G used for network adjustments have been mathematically proven to be the most effective way of calibrating subsea arrays. It offers full user control over setting the positions, depths and ranges with their estimated errors, full outlier rejection and the ability to correct for mistakes such as incorrect sound velocity. The generated calibration reports can be easily checked to allow for timely QC of LBL operations.
11 LBL Transponders
From Compatt to GyroCompatt
Fusion 6G can interface with a wide variety of transponders to provide the flexibility for users to select the exact instrument level they require. Options range from Compatt 6 transponders with standard depth sensors, to those that include other sensors such as sound speed sensors and inclinometers. The top specification GyroCompatt 6 integrates an LBL transponder and ring laser gyro in the same subsea housing for heading measurements, inertial grade pitch and roll along with high accuracy DigiQuartz depth sensors and more.
12 Faster to Set-up and Calibrate
It’s become easier, not harder
New simple telemetry commands such as ‘Get’, ‘Set’ and ‘Sense’ have removed the previously complex configuration process for setting up Compatts on the seabed. This means that there is a reduced requirement for training for operators as the complexity is now incorporated into the instruments and not the software. In addition, Sonardyne’s new hand held acoustic transponder test and configuration device, iWand, allows for the easy set up of equipment in the workshop, on the back deck of a ship or on ROVs and subsea structures before they are deployed.
13 Multi-user Operations
Sharing single arrays
The development of multi-user functionality has been proven to allow multiple vessels and vehicles to use the same Compatt transponder array. Each Compatt has four subscription channels in addition to its common interrogation frequency, effectively making for five Compatts in one unit. Each transponder also maintains its 6G USBL interrogation channel and a HPR400 channel for third party USBL systems. Multi-user is already available in 6G hardware with full functionality in Sonardyne USBL systems being rolled out.
14 Support and Training
24/7, 365 days a year
Sonardyne supports, and supplies spares for, current and previous generation products meaning that 5G and 6G generations are fully supported. Investing in Sonardyne 6G means that in years to come, your equipment will still be working hard for you. As products near the end of their life, Sonardyne works closely with clients to ensure they have a simple, cost-effective upgrade path, keeping technology current throughout the lifespan of all projects. From planning, consultancy and custom engineering through to delivery, Sonardyne is available around the clock to support every project.