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Riser monitoring

Understanding subsea drilling and production riser position and movement is key to ensuring rigs or ships keep within a position tolerance and maintain integrity. Our secure acoustics provides a wireless alternative expensive cabled sensors which are vulnerable to damage.

What our tech can do for you

9,000 bps

Fast and robust acoustic communications performance


Integrate with your vessel's DP system for position correction

5,000 m

Hardware configurable up to 5,000 m depth rating


Support, whenever and wherever you are in the world

Real-time monitoring

The primary station keeping objective during drilling operations is to keep the riser angle relative to the BOP within tolerance to ensure safe operation and minimise wear at the riser flex joint. As a minimum, the riser and BOP inclinations need to be measured and the differential riser/BOP angle calculated to make sure they remain within tolerance. The inclinations measured subsea are transmitted up to the rig using high speed digital acoustic telemetry, where they are received by the rigs acoustic transceiver, decoded, and then displayed on the bridge or drill floor. The rig’s position and bearing relative to the BOP is also calculated and the information displayed to the dynamic positioning operator or barge engineer. They use the data to steer the rig and return the riser flex joint back to vertical.

Extend operating envelope and maintenance intervals

Whilst measured data is used at the flex joint, mathematical models are used on the rest of the riser to predict the effects of currents, stresses and strains on riser lifespan and rig operating windows. The existing models are recognised as conservative, sometimes resulting in unnecessary downtime due to reduced operating windows and the expense of riser over-inspection and maintenance. Instrumenting the riser to provide measured, rather than modelled, data can result in more realistic operating windows and maintenance schedules; however wired sensors can be impractical, especially when a retro-fitted solution is needed. Therefore, wireless sensors connected to an acoustic network offer the only practical solution. Risers can be instrumented at intervals and connected wirelessly to the surface to measure, for example, inclination, accelerations, stress, strain and water current. Near real-time displays of riser measurements taken either on demand or automatically at predefined intervals can aid decision making and extend a rigs operating envelope in marginal conditions. Data analysis to assess wear and tear can be used to determine the most appropriate inspection regime.

Riser profiling system

Our Marksman MRAMS (Marine Riser Angle Monitoring System) is a highly accurate solution for monitoring the differential angle between a riser and BOP in order to reduce excessive wear on wellhead components. Designed for use on both dynamically positioned (DP) and moored drilling rigs, Marksman MRAMS benefits from our low risk, field proven 6G® acoustic technology to maintain an uninterrupted wireless data link between the vessel and BOP, even in the high noise environment typically associated with drilling operation.

Our Riser Profiling System provides operators with a wireless real-time vertical profile of current speed and direction, temperature and inclination of risers deployed from drilling or production vessels. The system can be used stand alone or integrated within Sonardyne’s Marksman acoustic positioning system.

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