Subsea Docking Station (SDS)
The offshore oil and gas industry is moving more and more processes onshore. As part of this trend, more of the processes traditionally housed topside are moving down to the seabed.
This requires more vessel time and results in more CO2 emissions.
As an industry, we can prevent this, by using permanently installed remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) on the seabed.
Some of these ROVs will be connected with cable (tether) for power and some will be autonomous (AUVs - autonomous underwater vehicles) and battery driven. In order for these autonomous vehicles to charge, robustly and reliably, every time, you need a pin-less connector that can take a lot of beating.
We have spent 12 years, together with WPC, to develop inductive connectors that are fit for this job. Innovation Norway and other customers have helped us on the way.
Based on Equinor’s Underwater Intervention Drone (UID) standard interface definition, Blue Logic have produced the world's first three universal, open-standard subsea drone docking stations.
On each, we have installed three types of connectors: 2kW, 250W, and 50W. All are able to supply both power and data transfer and communication.
The latest version of the UID Subsea Docking Station (SDS) is able to land all currently available drones. Blue Logic has performed interface checks with SAAB Seaeye, Oceaneering, Saipem and Stinger.
How does it work?
During charging, drones can upload mission data and download new tasks . It can use 3D maps of the seabed to navigate or, when docked, calibrate its onboard navigation systems against atomic clocks.
UID docking stations can also aid magnetic homing, and support acoustic navigation and subsea SMS and MMS signalling, as there are no GPS, satellite or 4G networks available subsea.
Docking stations can be powered using existing brown field infrastructure or using renewable energy, such as offshore wind turbines and wave energy converters, or they can be supported by fuel cells and/or battery UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems.
Communication to shore can be via a fibre optic cable or, in a green field environment with no infrastructure, via 4G using a surface buoy or unmanned vessel.