Remote underwater survey tests carried out in France

A proof-of-concept project to test the effectiveness of underwater remote surveys has been completed by classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) on a Corsica Linea ship, the Mediterrannee, using Seasam technology from Notilo Plus.  

BV says that it has been evaluating opportunities to provide effective remote inspection services as a substitute for docking surveys at agreed intervals or to inspect hull damage. For the proof-of-concept project, an in-water survey of a ship located in Marseille was carried out using the Seasam system, supervised remotely from Paris.

The Seasam drone, sensors, and control system, connected with Notilo Plus software, successfully demonstrated a possible alternative to the traditional diver in-water survey, the class society said, noting that the process is also safer and more data-rich than is possible with divers.

“Underwater remote surveys can improve safety, reduce risk, time and expenses to provide better results,” added Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President Technical & Operations for Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore.

“Maintaining the integrity and safety of a ship is a huge task. This new underwater technology brings digital classification to another level, providing new opportunities to both our clients and to BV.”

In related news, Global Drone Inspection (GDI), a new subsidiary company of robotic inspection company RIMS BV, has introduced its own service using ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) for the inspection of in-water ship assets.

The system is aimed at offering inspections of items such as stern tube seals, bow thrusters, hull land markings, as well as tanks that may be unable to be emptied. GDI operates the ROVs following the same procedures used currently for RIMS UAV inspections, applying technology from Blueye Robotics to stream high-definition video recordings and images to users.

“In-water inspections present significant challenges and safety concerns, with incidents and accidents occurring during diving in what have appeared to be straightforward inspections. These challenges are similar to that of confined spaces, so this was the natural next step for us to add this service for our customers through our new venture, GDI,” said David Knukkel, CEO, Global Drone Inspection.

“Our policy is to only use divers when there is no other alternative and leave the humans safely onboard or ashore, while the ROV is in the water taking the risks. With our extensive experience in the flight/ sail of that beyond the visual line of sight, as most of our drones are in tanks/cargo holds, our knowledge and experience in the maritime world means we are familiar with the ship construction underwater and know what to expect.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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