Autonomous Robotics Develops Flying Nodes for OBS Surveys

Autonomous Robotics is developing a Flying Node system which operates as a swarm of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV’s) for recording OBS data. 

OBS surveys record very high quality seismic data especially suitable for field appraisal and development. Using the Flying Node system, ARL predicts a tenfold increase in the deployment and recovery rates compared to ROV deployed nodes, which should help to substantially reduce this cost, the company said.

The planned system foresees the deployment of 3,500 Flying Nodes from a vessel, which then descend (fly) to a predetermined position on the seabed.

The ARL Flying Nodes are accurately positioned on the seabed using a USBL acoustic navigation system mounted on an unmanned surface vessel (USV) allowing for both 3D and 4D seismic. The nodes will have the ability to remain on the seabed recording data for up to 60 days to cover a wide range of survey requirements, ARL noted.

Autonomous Robotics will be presenting a paper on Flying Nodes at the Society for Exploration Geophysics (SEG) conference, New Orleans. Autonomous Robotics will also be unveiling a full scale model of the node and an animation of the system operation at SEG.

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