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    Racal commissions cable survey ship

    Vessel & ROV News // August 25, 2000
    The Indonesian Minster of Research & Technology, Dr A S Hikam, was one of the first visitors aboard the Baruna Jaya III following its $3 million upgrade by Racal Survey in Singapore.

    The newly upgraded ship previously served as a research vessel for Indonesia's Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPP Technologi).

    The ship's upgrade included a full refit of the vessel together with the installation of a comprehensive suite of the latest survey equipment. It has been hired on a long-term charter by Racal for use primarily as a cable route survey ship but its configuration and high specification equipment are also suited for EEZ and pipeline route surveys.

    During his visit on 04 July, Dr Hikam was reportedly impressed by the restoration that has qualified the 1,300 tonne displacement ship for its new BV+1 3/310AI by the Bureau Veritas Classification Society.

    The Minister's visit included a tour of the newly installed suite of survey equipment that now makes the Baruna Jaya III one of the most sophisticated cable route survey ships in the world.

    Equipment includes the world's only dual Simrad EM12D full ocean depth swathe echo sounder in commercial use, Elac BottomChart Mk II high resolution medium and shallow water swathe bathymetric systems, and a Simrad EA500 dual frequency deep water singlebeam echo sounder.

    The ship is also fitted with Thomson Marconi Sonar's Posidonia 6000 hydro-acoustic positioning system. This is capable of providing positioning over a wide area down to 6,000m for ROVs and towed vehicles.

    Other equipment includes a combined deep tow GeoChirp II side scan sonar and sub-bottom profiler, a 16-element hull-mounted sub-bottom profiler, and caesium magnetometer.

    The ship also carries a range of geotechnical survey tools including a gravity piston corer, vibro corer and optional mini CPT unit. Data acquisition and processing is performed on the latest high speed workstations using a range of sophisticated software tools to enable full onboard processing in near real-time.

    The conversion of the Baruna Jaya III was initiated in response to the explosive demand for submarine cables, primarily driven by the Internet. It is estimated that over 200,000 route kilometres of submarine cable will be deployed within the Asia-Pacificregion alone over the next three years. The vessel is preparing to embark on its first project, a Trans-Pacific cable route linking South East Asia with the US West Coast.

    Built in 1989 at Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France, the 60m vessel was refitted at the Pan United Shipyard in Singapore. The work was co-ordinated by Racal's Project Executive, Iain Lowson.

    Commented Lowson: "Every system in the ship has been worked-on including all the propulsion equipment. All electric motors have been overhauled and re-built and more than a quarter of the engine room pipework has been completely renewed."

    The newly upgraded ship now offers accommodation for up to 24 survey personnel and 16 crew and has a range of 7500 nautical miles at 12 knots.

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