Building on OFG’s strengths in deep water Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) operations and support services, OFG has invested in a 3000m-rated Hugin AUV. The AUV Chercheur is equipped with an unsurpassed sensor and software suite for extremely efficient inspection of pipelines and infrastructure, pipeline route studies, site geohazard surveys, environmental monitoring surveys, and other seafloor-based applications such as UXO, archeology, salvage, and minerals exploration.
Chercheur is equipped with state of the art high resolution interferometric synthetic aperture sonar (HiSAS), the latest in technology multibeam echosounder EM2040, a sub-bottom profiler, a comprehensive environmental geochemical sensing suite, a high resolution still photography camera, and an OFG Self-Compensating Magnetometer (SCM) system. Chercheur is the most advanced subsea survey platform, and comes complete with all ancillary sensors to guarantee precision navigation and positioning.
OFG’s CTO Peter Kowalczyk commented, “When considering this investment, we felt that synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) is the technology by which other sonar imagery will be measured in the future and that it was a requirement for any new AUV purchase. The incredible imagery produced by the HiSAS system confirms this.”
The combination of Chercheur’s technology, OFG’s experienced AUV operations team, and the expertise of our technology and commercial partners extends the possibility to unveil seafloor properties and characteristics to new levels of resolution and detection.
Included in that extended reach, OFG offers with Chercheur its AUV services for very shallow water operations allowed by the advanced navigation and positioning systems, and the efficient coverage of large areas by the HiSAS system even in shallow water. Detailed camera surveys are also possible in water depths ranging from 10m to 3000m with the EM2040-aided acoustic tracking and following capabilities.
The incredible high resolution imagery produced by the HiSAS system gives offshore oil and gas companies the ability to build and maintain a precise GIS database of the positions and conditions of their seafloor assets, natural features, marine archeology inventories, UXOs and other features of interest such as plumes. Seafloor minerals exploration teams will also benefit greatly with regards to geological interpretation.
OFG looks forward to supporting our clients and commercial and technology partners with the deployment of this portable, self-contained AUV survey and inspection system around the world.