Sonardyne Acoustic Positioning Simulator to Help GE Train Its DPOs in Brazil

Sonardyne Brasil has supplied equipment that simulates acoustic positioning operations on dynamically positioned (DP) rigs and ships, to GE Power Conversion for their new training school in Macaé.

The Sonardyne Marksman hardware and 6G Sim software will be used to provide student DP Officers (DPOs) with an understanding of the role acoustic positioning has in assisting a vessel to remain in a specified location whilst underwater operations are being conducted.

DP is the automated control technology that enables a deep water mobile drilling unit, well intervention, survey or construction vessel to maintain a predetermined heading and position, fixed or moving, using its own thrusters and propellers.

To counteract the effects of wind, current and wave action, all DP systems require aiding from position and motion sensors in order to calculate the required steering angle and thruster output needed to keep the vessel in the required position. Subsea acoustic positioning, along with satellite navigation, surface-based lasers and high performance attitude sensors form the primary suite of sensors that a DP system is interfaced to.

Sonardyne’s Marksman system calculates a vessel’s position relative to an array of transponders deployed on the seabed. The technique is known as Long and Ultra-Short Baseline (LUSBL).

The Sonardyne equipment now installed at GE’s Macaé facility includes a Navigation PC running the Marksman LUSBL application, along with 6G Sim, a software application that simulates an array of transponders on seabed transmitting signals up to the surface. The system has been interfaced with GE’s ‘C’ series DP desk to provide DP operators with an onshore training experience.

Mark Carter, global business manager for DP and Drilling at Sonardyne, said: “Our technologies are deployed in all of Brazil’s deep water fields, helping to survey pipelines, install structures and drill wells.”

“Simulator-based training, like that offered by GE in Macaé and ourselves in Rio das Ostras, not only helps maximise equipment performance, it also reduces operational risk. We’re delighted that GE has selected Marksman to help train the next generation of Brazilian DPOs.”

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