ION Geophysical Corp. is showing its new Narwhal integrated ice management system at the 2013 SEG Annual Meeting in Houston this week. The tool is designed to improve seismic data acquisition and drilling operations, while operating in arctic environments and provides ice visualization, analysis, tracking and risk mitigation tools for offshore operations. Narwhal is designed to enable vessel captains, ice pilots and analysts to combine and view multiple data sources to better visualize and predict ice conditions and better plan operations and mitigate risk.
Narwhal provides a comprehensive view of the ice environment by integrating disparate data types such as satellite imagery, radar imagery, vector ice charts and visual observations with more standard vessel navigation data such as wind speed and sea conditions. This information enables ice captains and analysts to better assess operational risk by analyzing, tracking, and predicting ice conditions during seismic acquisition operations. Using a fully automated data link between vessels and onshore offices, as well as integration with navigational command and control systems, seismic vessels can adjust their acquisition configurations and plans in real-time to respond to their operational objectives and the ice conditions. The ability to understand and predict the environmental conditions can help minimize seismic acquisition costs as well as mitigate HSE risk.
"Narwhal extends ION's Orca and Gator II nav systems," said Chris Usher, ION executive vice president and COO of GeoScience. "It automates the tasks and uses whatever information is available in the right place for informed decisions. It monitors ice and alerts of intrusion into an alarm zone."
"One of the unique aspects of Narwhal is the way it manages 'trafficability', the ability to use all of the ice information to define go/no-go areas, plan routes, optimize vessel operations, and identify escape routes, in multi-vessel and platform operations," said Des Flynn, VP of Ion's Concept Systems group.