New record for Gavia AUVVessel & ROV News // February 1, 2010
Fugro Survey Pty Ltd in Perth and Hafmynd Ehf, in a joint initiative with Woodside Energy Ltd, have successfully trialled a Gavia Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) down to a depth of 1,000m. This significantly surpasses the previous maximum recorded depth of 220m achieved by a Gavia vehicle.
The Gavia AUV is a relatively small and portable AUV, manufactured in Iceland by
Hafmynd. Its modular configuration enables the inclusion of various payloads in
addition to the base vehicle configuration, such as an Inertial Navigation System, GeoSwath bathymetric sonar and additional battery modules for increased endurance.
"This particular model purchased by Woodside has been optimised specifically for use in the offshore survey industry. It's been fitted with an underwater camera, sidescan sonar, multibeam echosounder, highly accurate INS, and navigation software which enables the AUV to automatically track a pipeline on the seabed," explained Ian Hobbs, Geophysics Manager of Fugro Survey.
"Fugro Survey Pty Ltd will manage all aspects of the Woodside Gavia AUV, including supervision of the factory and customer acceptance trials, personnel training, field operations, and maintenance and storage of the vehicle. We recently ran some Customer Acceptance Trials offshore Perth, Western Australia which included a record-breaking dive to 1,000m."
The Gavia AUV was set to run a grid of survey lines at an altitude of 12m above the seabed recording both side scan sonar and swath bathymetric data. This was followed by a survey line run at only 2m above the seabed, to collect seabed habitat photographs. Dive time from the surface to 1000m was approximately 30 minutes, which indicates that the expected survey duration at this depth could exceed 6 hours. Overall, the trials went very well demonstrating that the Gavia AUV is a highly capable and versatile vehicle."
Woodside anticipate using the AUV primarily for pipeline inspection surveys, as well as for nearshore environmental surveys, debris surveys in restricted areas, and deepwater inspections of flowlines and other seabed infrastructure. The vehicle will be utilised from vessels of opportunity and is available for surveys for third party projects.
More detail on the Gavia AUV and this project will be available on the Fugro stand (E100) at Oceanology International 2010 (9-11 March 2010, ExCeL, London).