Fugro Survey and Hafmynd Ehf in joint initiative with Woodside Energy have successfully run customer acceptance trials of a Gavia autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) down to a subsea depth of 1000m offshore Western Australia, well surpassing the former 220m benchmark, also achieved by a Gavia vehicle.
Small and portable, the Gavia AUV is manufactured in Iceland by Hafmynd in a modular configuration enabling inclusion of various payloads such as an inertial navigation system (INS), GeoSwath bathymetric sonar and additional batteries.
The model in service with Woodside is optimised for offshore surveying, fitted with an underwater camera, sidescan sonar, multibeam echosounder, high accuracy INS, and navigation software to automatically track seabed pipeline.
In the trial, the Gavia AUV was set to run a grid of survey lines at 12m above the seabed, recording both sidescan sonar and swath bathymetric data, followed by a seabed habitat photo survey line run at 2m above seabed. Dive time from surface to 1000m was approximately 30 minutes.
Woodside anticipates using the vehicle primarily for pipeline inspection, as well as surveys for nearshore environment, debris in restricted areas, and deepwater assessment of flowlines and other seabed infrastructure. The AUV will be utilised from vessels of opportunity and made available for third party projects.
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