In the event that conventional MUX control of a BOP (Blow-Out Preventer) is lost during a subsea emergency, our acoustic BOP control system is an off-the-shelf system that allows a well to be remotely shut-in by means of a high security, throughwater wireless acoustic communications link.
During an emergency, system components installed on the BOP are remotely activated from a control room on the rig or using a portable command system deployed from a lifeboat, support vessel or ROV.
The Acoustic BOP system consists of a rack mounted or portable BOP Command Unit, intelligent Deep Acoustic Remote Transducers (DARTs) programmed to receive, decode and validate acoustic commands, and a Subsea Electronics Module (SEM) that provides the interface to solenoids and read-back sensors. The BOP Command Unit generates acoustic commands in response to operator intervention and transmits them via a simple over-the-side or hull-mounted transducer to the DARTs.
The DARTs are usually located on folding arms which extend outwards when the BOP is lowered from the vessel. This ensures a clear line-of-site for communications with the surface. Each system has a unique address and its 2 DARTs are programmed to respond only to commands which are specifically addressed to them.
Once decoded and validated, the acoustic commands from the surface are forwarded to the SEM, which in-turn activates solenoid valves which operate the hydraulic rams and close the stack down. Up to 12 function outputs operate the solenoid valves which control the hydraulic operation of BOP Rams.
An Emergency Disconnect Sequence can be initiated by the operator pressing the 2 actuate buttons, which initiates a pre-defined sequence of valve operations tailored to a specific BOPs requirements.