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Case study

Delivering subsea synergy in ORE inspections.

Covelya Group

December 12, 2023

There are numerous challenges associated with offshore wind visual inspections, including currents, turbidity, time and cost. Sonardyne, EIVA and Voyis, all part of the Covelya Group, are working together to bring a complete imaging, navigation and autonomy solution to overcome these obstacles and enhance the inspection data product.

With almost a century of combined subsea expertise between them, the companies are ideally placed to offer a solution to the offshore renewable energy (ORE) market that is even greater than the sum of its parts.

Combining great experience to create even greater things.

Bringing together their combined expertise at a technology accelerator event at the ORE Catapult Subsea and Marine testing facility in Blyth, Northumberland, UK, Sonardyne, EIVA and Voyis were able to demonstrate the potential of their ORE inspection solution to industry users, vehicle manufacturers and end clients recently.

Each company brought its own existing technologies which were integrated, on remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) provided by Atlantas Marine , to demonstrate an even more effective solution for underwater surveying.

Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav Mini provides robust, reliable, navigation for piloting and surveying. It is the world’s smallest hybrid acoustic-inertial navigation system and can be used as an all-in-one vessel and marine robot navigation instrument with performance beyond its size. The SPRINT-Nav Mini eliminates the need for separate sensors, such as AHRS, DVL, INS, and depth sensors. This results in no further calibration requirements, fewer cables and connectors to manage and it is more cost-effective than the four sensors it replaces.

It will work in the most challenging environments and remains unaffected by steel structures such as wind turbine foundations and provides a continuous stream of positions, orientation, velocities, depth and altitude at up to 200 updates per second.

Voyis’ Discovery Stereo camera provides a powerful platform for a vehicle’s subsea vision needs, delivering stills images, video, IMU data and 3D data with a data-centric DDS architecture. Through edge computing, it integrates with EIVA’s visual simultaneous localisation and mapping (VSLAM) software technology to provide real-time 3D reconstruction, ensuring area coverage mapping and augmented piloting. Mounted on the front of the ROV, the Discovery Stereo provided 4K video stream and high-resolution images for both navigation and inspection throughout the demonstration.

EIVA’s NaviSuite Mobula software package provides a complete topside software solution for the ROV, enabling efficient acquisition of data with the Voyis Discovery Stereo and Sonardyne SPRINT-Nav Mini. This software offers unique capabilities for automating remotely operated subsea inspection and surveying operations – using tools for a wide variety of tasks, leveraging the software toolbox of NaviSuite.

During the demonstration, NaviSuite VSLAM leveraged the Discovery Stereo system to enable augmented piloting through real-time 3D point cloud images for quality control, while NaviSuite Mobula provided an end-to-end software solution for acquisition, processing and delivery of data.

The benefits of coming to the Covelya Group for an integrated subsea inspection solution is a tight integration of our complementary products in the world of subsea communication, navigation and data acquisition across the group.

Philip Hart, VP of Integrated Technology, Covelya Group

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Demonstrating the difference.
The technology accelerator event at Catapult provided the perfect opportunity to showcase the possibilities in developing this combined subsea inspection solution. The test dock contains a turbine foundation and various other structures, perfect for subsea navigational and photogrammetry demonstrations.

The ROV was fitted with a SPRINT-Nav Mini at the rear, Discovery Stereo camera at the front and utilised the NaviSuite Mobula and VSLAM software packages to control the ROV movements, represent the operation in a real-time 3D visualisation and pilot view, along with monitoring coverage and inspection data quality.

Once the ROV was launched, focus shifted to the control room where the assembled delegates watched the live 4K video stream from the Discovery Stereo camera as the vehicle navigated the dock.

Whilst its primary navigation and positioning was provided by the SPRINT-Nav Mini, as the ROV navigated and surveyed the subsea structures the Discovery Stereo camera and NaviSuite software combined their capabilities to provide millimetric positioning precision and 3D point cloud detail which was fed back to the control room. A video from the demonstration, giving more information about the technology, can be viewed here.

In real-life operations, these actionable insights could then be used to make immediate decisions about state of the asset, the quality of the data and subsequent actions required from the ROV. Having the capability to make real-time operational decisions greatly reduces the risk of collecting inaccurate data and helps to avoid the associated wasted time and cost.

“The benefits of coming to the Covelya Group for an integrated subsea inspection solution is a tight integration of our complementary products in the world of subsea communication, navigation and data acquisition across the group.” – Philip Hart. VP of Integrated Technology, Covelya Group.

For Sonardyne, EIVA, Voyis and the wider Covelya Group, this demonstration of synergetic working is just the beginning of our ‘Better Together’ approach. The opportunities for delivering smarter, faster, cleaner and more effective subsea technology solutions from within the group of companies are almost endless.


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