A fleet of different vessels – both manned and unmanned – support a variety of activities around an offshore wind farm; from seabed surveys to the installation of foundation structures, turbines, substations and moorings and from subsea cable lay to ROV and diving support and operation and maintenance over the lifetime of the farm.
From our origins in the North Sea in the early 1970s, innovation and performance has maintained our reputation for technical leadership and today we have an unrivalled portfolio of vessel-based and complementary subsea technologies that can support all of these operations.
Our capabilities include acoustic and inertial position reference systems for vessel Dynamic Positioning (DP) systems, high-grade gyrocompasses and motion reference units, and systems for tracking and communicating with subsea vehicles and instruments deployed from the surface.
Today, nearly all ships operating in the sector do so using Dynamic Positioning (DP) systems; either to hold station alongside a structure or over an operation below the surface or to make precise manoeuvres around an installation or along a planned survey or cable lay route.
DP systems need accurate and repeatable position and motion reference data when critical operations are underway. Developed to meet the requirements of DP Class 2 and 3 rules, Ranger 2 USBL provides an accurate and highly repeatable position reference. It’s also a simultaneous platform for tracking, positioning and monitoring of subsea structures and equipment, as well as tracking remotely operated, towed and autonomous vehicles, cable lay ploughs and trenchers. Ranger 2 is installed on a global fleet of vessels and is compatible with all DP systems.
Where there is a demand for the highest levels of precision, or where there are extremely demanding conditions, Sonardyne has a range of advanced transceivers including Gyro USBL, which co-locates our 6th generation (6G) High Precision Acoustic Positioning (HPT) transceiver and Lodestar Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) in a single housing. Perfect time-synchronisation of vessel movement and acoustic signals is achieved through tightly coupled integration, eliminating alignment errors seen in conventional USBL systems that are dependent upon a vessel’s own attitude and heading sensors remote from the acoustic transceiver. Gyro USBL has always been a popular choice for installation on vessels-of-opportunity using over-the-side deployment arrangements, which may be more susceptible to vibration.
If a position feed to DP is not required, then Mini-Ranger 2 may meet all your vessel’s subsea tracking and data communications needs. Portable and easy to install, it is a popular option for small survey vessels operating in and around wind farms where its wide operating envelope makes it suitable for tracking divers, ROVs and towed platforms, including those used for pre-construction survey operations.
Increasingly the sector is adopting uncrewed surface vessels to conduct routine inspections and data harvesting missions from deployed sensors, reducing risk to personnel, cost and lowering carbon footprint.
Both Ranger 2 and Mini-Ranger 2 is available in USV configurations and we have experience of working with the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers. If you already own or operate a USV, we can enable it for seafloor sensor data harvesting and support you and train your team. Alternatively, we can offer you the complete service, taking care of vehicle selection, logistics, offshore operations and secure data delivery.