DeepOcean inks deal for potential use of autonomous vehicles for environmental studies

Norway’s DeepOcean and Akvaplan-niva, a subsidiary of the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), have partnered up to cooperate on the potential use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and unmanned glider vehicles (USVs) for environmental studies for offshore wind and oil & gas developments.

 (L to R): Lionel Camus and Morten Thorstensen (Akvplan-niva), Nadia Aarab, Andries Ferla and Alexander Rumson (DeepOcean), and Virginie Ramasco (Akvaplan-niva). Source: DeepOcean

Under the signed agreement, the parties will work towards combining the field operations of DeepOcean’s autonomous vehicles with Akvaplan-niva’s environmental data collection services. The partnership also aims to utilize Akvaplan-niva’s unmanned autonomous glider vehicles commercially, for use in environmental studies.

By integrating environmental sensors with the vehicles, and streaming the data to a cloud-based processing system, the two companies plan to investigate the opportunity to use ROVs, USVs, drones and gliders to perform ecosystem and environmental studies.

DeepOcean will also share environmental data collected during its ROV operations with Akvaplan-niva, for use by the wider research community.

The type of selected sensors allows for harvesting physical, biogeochemical, chemical or biological data to get a high-resolution understanding of the marine ecosystem structure and functioning in near real time, the company said.

“Both the offshore wind and offshore oil and gas industry could benefit from even more cost-efficient environmental assessment services. Combining sensor technology with unmanned and autonomous vessels could be one way of solving this. Compared to today’s solutions, this approach can substantially reduce use of fossil fuels and associated CO2 emissions,” said Andries Ferla, Ocean Solutions & Technology Director at DeepOcean.

“Today’s advanced technology in robotics and digital solutions allow the convergence between the subsea operations and environmental services. The advantages for customers are multiple, it will reduce costs, CO2 emissions and personnel risk, and it will increase data resolution drastically,” Lionel Camus, Manager Digital Solutions at Akvaplan-niva, stated.