3D at Depth Realizes a One-Hour Metrology with Next-Generation SL4 Subsea LiDAR Technology
The SL4 is 3D at Depth’s next-generation step change in the future of the company’s sensor platforms with compact onboard electronics designed in-house.
The ultra-high-speed compact electronics enable more onboard processing and averaging resulting in single or multipoint LiDAR pulsed returns which lower the range measurement to less than 1mm or even lower depending on the operational environment with much faster scanning speeds. To quantify this improvement for users of 3D at Depth’s technology and service, the already market-leading SL3 collects data at scan speeds of 30-degree x 30-degree sector scans which comprised of over 2.1 million data points takes around 5 minutes to collect and process. Three years ago, this was impressive and is still considered the fastest way to collect larger areas of seabed and highly repeatable XYZ points complementing 3D at Depth’s patented in-house index of refraction algorithms. After significant investment in the technology development, the SL4 scan 30-degree x 30-degree sector scans is reduced from 5 minutes to 52 seconds, or lower if there is a requirement for less resolution using our configuration point resolution too.
“Over 600 metrologies later using our Subsea LiDAR platforms the 4th generation performance enhancements allow operational subsea data collection times for a spool metrology that used to take 3D at Depth and its partners three hours of on bottom time comprising of two scan positions for the entire metrology to now be conducted in less than one hour with the same number of data points and both scan positions,” stated Neil Manning, Chief Operating Officer, 3D at Depth. “Additional value adds to the SL4 is the option to offer fully remote metrology collections enabling 3D at Depth to control and process the data from shore as recently announced in June 2020. In addition, 3D at Depth recently collected a fully remote metrology offshore Australia, with the companies’ staff controlling the sensor and processing from the UK and USA offices giving 24-hour coverage to offshore operations."
Neil Manning, Chief Operating Officer, 3D at Depth also stated “If we apply these operational vessel time savings to a lower carbon emission reduction against alternative metrology methods that require lifting operations or special touch tooling that still take 9-12 hours to undertake metrologies – 3D at Depth’s new SL4 provides a high-value data set as well as a metrology measurement in less than one-hour saving 11-hours on conventional Long Base Line (LBL) metrologies which also require an array installation and calibration. Add in remote metrology or scanning without additional staff offshore from an offshore drilling platform removing the vessel using our non-touch collection approach and you’re starting to move the needle on the future or offshore measurement and inspections.”
The SL4 and the new inhouse Pan and Tilt don’t in any way reduce the data quality, but it improves on quality and data volume that is collected and if required averaged. All of this can be conducted remotely with planning and integration into the customer's vessel communications system and remote training using our online training solution. The carbon and cost savings to operational value-added services speak for themselves, in a multi-metrology campaign in a well center when one scan position can collect 2 metrologies – effectively lower metrology times too much lower times and in some cases 30 mins per spool.
Complementing the SL4 is 3D at Depth’s own designed for a Pan and Tilt solution with performance and power reduction for battery-powered vehicles or remote deployment solutions as the requirement. The Pan and Tilt in conjunction with an SL4 together allows remote operations with risk-reducing user improved and simplistic diagnostics software tools for remote operations being able to identify any probable system damage or advise on which cable is the probable cause.