Asso’s trenching fleet to feature Sonardyne’s underwater guidance

Greek submarine cable installation and repair specialist Asso Group has chosen underwater vehicle guidance technology from Sonardyne for its expanding trenching fleet.

Asso Group
Source: Asso Group

Specifically, the company will install Sonardyne’s subsea Lodestar attitude and heading reference sensors (AHRS) on its trenching machines working across interconnector and offshore wind cable installation, protection and repair.

With Lodestar installed on its trenches, Asso aims for efficient cable laying and burial operations, by maintaining a high level of situational awareness of the platform’s dynamics. According to the company, this is a key in keeping the vehicles on course in geotechnical challenging, zero visibility environments.

In addition to AHRS, some wind farm project specifications can also require the use of an inertial navigation system (INS) on trenchers, in order to ascertain an accurate laid position of their subsea cables, the company explains.

“By choosing Lodestar, we can easily upgrade to Sonardyne’s full INS solution, SPRINT”, said Michael Chionatos, R&D director of Technical Division at Asso.

“Indeed, this is something we have been able to do in the past, providing our developer customers assurance, when they require it, by geo-referencing cable laying operations, all without the need to pay for a separate INS system and having to interface additional payloads to their vehicle.”

Mike Ellis, business development manager for renewables at Sonardyne, added: “We’re happy to be supporting Asso Group as they see increasing demand for their capabilities in the offshore wind market. With their latest and upgraded trenchers, and the recent addition of the Athena DP-3 trenching support vessel to their fleet, targeting floating offshore wind, they’re ready to support this expanding market, supported by our trusted and time-saving underwater guidance and navigation solutions.”

At the beginning of the month, Asso Group’s recently acquired vessel Athena completed its phase 1 conversion upgrade ahead of its first assignment.

As informed at the time, the vessel will undergo final conversion later in the summer to become a DP3 trenching support vessel (TSV).

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