Switzerland-based subsea wireless access provider Hydromea has said it has recently successfully trialed EXRAY, its wireless underwater ROV system, in a full ballast water tank on one of TotalEnergies’ North Sea FPSOs.
EXRAY was deployed to collect visual inspection data, validating system performance including wireless navigation and wireless communication, Hydromea said.
According to Hydromea, the pilot was able to command and control the vehicle and receive real-time 1080p video feedback, using proprietary wireless optical communication technology that replaces a cabled connection. Without a tether attached, the risk of entanglement in complex confined spaces is greatly reduced, Hydromea said.
The project is funded by the Net Zero Technology Centre (ex-OGTC) based in Aberdeen, Scotland, and is part of a larger development roadmap focused on enabling portable and affordable multi-robot inspections of the increasing number of submerged assets in the North Sea.
Stephen Ashley, Head of Offshore Energy 4.0 at the Net Zero Technology Centre said: "The development of remotely controlled operations empowered by robotics and autonomous systems is key to drive the net-zero goals of the energy industry. Hydromea, a graduate of our TechX program, has developed a game-changing technology that will play a pivotal role in accelerating our transition to affordable net-zero-energy industry. This successful pilot trial has proven the EXRAY technology in a real environment and we look forward to supporting Hydromea through the final validation pilot later this year.’
Alexander Bahr, co-founder and COO of Hydromea, added: “Thanks to Net Zero Technology Centre and TotalEnergies, we were able to test our system in the real environment of an offshore site. This is a valuable experience for our development team and it gave us plenty of data points to work with and prepare for our summer validation pilot of the beta system. We are currently looking for the industry partners to work with us in our next funded phase of the roadmap that shall kick-off at the end of 2022.”