IMarEST Organizes Webinar on Remote Subsea operations to Digital Twins

6 mins read  Pratyaya Biswas - Guest WriterMay 24, 2021

On the 19th of May, from 1830 hours to 1930 hours IST, a webinar was organised by Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) in association with Seaflo consultancy limited on some of the latest subsea remote inspection technologies in the Oceaneering , Int e Liberty ROV and the Freedom AUV. These concepts were presented from the POV of some of the most qualified men in this field. The keynote speakers in action were,

  • Charles A Reith- Founder of SeaFlo consultancy Ltd. in 2010 as a Operations director , Principal Consultant working for a number of oil & gas operating entities and on international assignments.
  • Kaj Lagstrom- A qualified Naval Architect and Chartered Eng. with IMarEST, Kaj Lagstorm has extensive oil & gas industry experience, of which the latter 20 years have been dedicated to project management.
  • Alan Anderson- Having Joined Oceaneering Int. in early 2021, Alan Anderson is now the product manager Liberty Resident Tether Management System (RTMS).
  • Mitch Johnson- Shipboard Technical Services (STS) program manager responsible for all Class and regulatory inspections globally for Oceaneering Int.

Overview & The Topics In Contention:

The key points discussed throughout this 70 minutes session, can be summarized as follows:

1. The session started with the IMarEST event manager introducing all of the keynote speakers and passing on the presentation baton to Mr. Charles. A .Reith who commenced the session by giving an introduction into the concept of digital twins usage in subsea operations. After this, Mr. Kaj Langstrom continued from where Mr. Charles left off.

2. Mr. Kaj Langstrom then went on to delve into the fascinating world of remote subsea operations, which started by a brief introduction about Dynamic Digital twins technology which might just be one the biggest examples of automation in the near future in the Maritime industry , FPSO (Floating Product And Storage Offloading) which are essentially floating vessels whose primary function is the processing and storage of gas and oil before it is offloaded onto a tanker or any pipeline for distribution offload & LNG FSRU (Floating Storage Regasification Unit) assets. All of these are efficiently coordinated using real time data analysis by methods of UnderWater Inspection In Lieu Of Dry-Docking a.k.a. , UWILD , which is a different convention of marine vessels inspection.

3. The session went on to give a detailed view on how Geographic Information System (GIS) can be used to inspect mooring lines, FPSO/FSRU LNG vessels or the hull integrity of a cargo vessel. The asset quality management areas include hull structure & integrity, cargo & Ballast systems & Mooring systems.

4. The panel then went on to discuss in detail the Mooring Lines Integrity Monitoring. They specifically went on to discuss the impact of the correlation between actual data and the analytical data by the means of water condition surveys, update mooring system models and rerun analyses. Deterioration rate predictions are also predicted based on data provided by Robots, ROVs or AUVs who, in turn, allow conditional data to be transmitted to engineers onshore for inclusion into digital models for analytical purposes. A brief introduction was given to the Semi-Autonomous Mooring Inspection Robots (SAMIR).

5. These series of presentations were led by GRI simulations powered by VROV where we got to know about how simulations supported SeaFlo recognised Continuing Performance Development (CPD) training which builds on the people skills across these technological and industry energy transitions.

6. After a series of well detailed GRI simulations, Mr Alan Anderson goes on to discuss the Liberty E-ROV™and Freedom™ vehicle. These E-ROVsincluding Freedom™, Liberty™ & the Isurus™, are a few of the much-coveted next-generation ROVs which provides a new range of flexibility& efficiency by combining the features of an ROV & an AUV into a single-vehicle. These ROVs are the true working-class systems that enable efficient outputs even in high current conditions. After a brief history of their ROV lines, an introduction to remote run piloting was given. The entire process of communication between the Liberty Resident TMS, the resident vehicle and the control centre onshore was well-presented.

7. The panel then went on to explain how E-ROVs have a distinct advantage over their near competitors, very subtly following with their track record to nail their superiority home. A shift of focus saw them talking about the Liberty Autonomous Vehicle. The pipeline survey for the same was discussed in detail.

8. Mr Mitch Johnson gave the final presentation on Remote UWILD operations. After displaying their competitive advantages in Class & Regulatory Surveys & their 4+ years of remote UWILD experience. This was followed by a GRI simulation of how UWILD inspections are carried out using unmanned ROV vehicles. One detailed simulation later, the presentations had to give way for the end of the session.

Interaction with avid attendees:

Just prior to the conclusion, the panellists allowed attendees to ask questions, which brought in a lot of good points that can be put up for discussion. One of the best inquisitions reported was on the matter of cost-effectiveness owing to multiple heavy-duty machinery installation to facilitate this sub-sea operation infrastructure. The panel gave a very good explanation on how the cost was high before, and this method was the cost-effective one, which was already depicted through the VROV simulations. Questions on the types of sensors used in ROVs were put up, the answer to which was that different sensors are used for different operational purposes. This concluded the webinar.

Did we learn anything?

The key concepts to take home from this webinar are,

A better understanding of the rapidly evolving sub-sea technology aspects and where the people skills need to be enhanced from the technician to the Engineering level.

A better grasp on the ever-evolving Digital twin application in remote mid-oceanic operations.

These subsea remote technologies are already being implemented in renewable energy & blue economy transition applications, aligning with the IMarEST Ocean Aware program objectives.

A vivid insight into SeaFLo’s recognised CPD training courses.

A very detailed overview of the mechanism & functionality of these E-ROV vehicles might as well be the next big step in unmanned asset management.

POV into the world of subsea operations from the eyes of a few of the seasoned veterans in this field.