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Unique Group's Uni-Pact USV completes next-gen survey work in under 2 hours for FMS

 Client  First Marine Solutions (FMS)
 Country  UK
 Year  2021
 Service details  

Unique Group offers the latest autonomous technology for offshore survey operations to clients, we have designed and developed autonomous survey vessels – Uni-Cat and Uni-Pact. Our ASVs are ideal to be used in locations where conventional survey methods are not feasible, they are your best choice when a compact survey vessel is required.

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Summary of the Project

Unique Group successfully supported First Marine Solutions’ (FMS) Survey and Positioning Business line, and their end client Well-Safe Solutions, in completing a cutting-edge, carbon-conscious rig entry debris survey, in the Port of Cromarty Firth, Scotland, using its proprietary unmanned survey vessel (USV), Uni-Pact.

Client Requirement

FMS was hired by the end client to perform a rig entry survey, in preparation for a potential rig move of Well-Safe Solutions’ jack-up rig, the Well-Safe Protector. After witnessing Unique Group’s Unmanned Survey Vessel (USV) Uni-Pact in action, FMS recommended the Uni-Pact for the survey which was accepted by Well-Safe Solutions as it was the ideal solution to achieve the project’s ambitions.

Uni-Pact performing debris survey in the Port of Cromarty Firth

Uni-Pact performing debris survey in the Port of Cromarty Firth.

Challenges faced

  • The COVID-19 travel quarantine restrictions would have resulted in a delay in the project as the online surveyor would have had to spend 10 days isolating on arrival. However, Uni-Pact’s remote access platform enabled the online surveyor to control the survey payload in real time from his home base in Denmark thus allowing the work to proceed without delay.
  • The Cromarty Firth has strong tidal currents with a short slack-water period. The low logistics requirements of the Uni-Pact meant it could be launched close to site and begin acquiring data almost immediately as the installation calibrations of the systems, such as the POSMV, were performed at Unique Group’s base prior to delivery to the site. This reduced the time on-site and consequent exposure to strong tidal currents.

Unique Solution delivered

Based on FMS and Well-Safe Solutions’ requirements, Unique Group delivered a fully mobilised and calibrated Uni-Pact to the project site, which was deployed in under an hour of arriving on location at Saltburn Pier, thus completing the full scope of work in less than 90 minutes.

The Uni-Pact USV was equipped with a Ping DSP side scan sonar, which provided both 2D and 3D side scan and Bathymetric data. Uni-Pact’s control interface enabled live data acquisition to be analysed and interpreted by a surveyor working remotely from Copenhagen, Denmark.

On-site support at Cromarty including the launch and recovery implementation, as well as communication coordination and safeguarding visual oversight of operations, was provided by FMS’s Survey Engineer and Unique Group’s USV pilot/engineer.

The entire project scope was completed in less than 2 hours, with the Uni-Pact’s autonomous navigation system operating the vessel from launch to recovery. The USV saved time for the client as achieving the same results traditionally can take over 24 hours.

Uni-Pact performing carbon-conscious rig entry debris survey.

Uni-Pact in action during the carbon-conscious rig entry debris survey for the project.

Benefits delivered

  • Time saving: The entire project was completed in less than 2 hours instead of the 24 hours it would have taken traditionally, which was an incredible saving for the client.
  • Cost efficient: With the reduced time and manpower, the Uni-Pact provided a cost effective and efficient solution eliminating over 22 hours of time from the schedule.
  • Environment friendly: The Uni-Pact USV is a completely environmentally friendly solution, as it is operated on electric engines which make zero noise, thus reducing disturbance to the aquatic ecosystem.
  • Autonomous and remote solution: This project demonstrated the benefits of working autonomously and remotely, as the surveyor was working remotely from over 650 miles from the project location.
  • Quick and easy solution: Uni-Pact reduced the process complexity as it is a lightweight and easy-to-deploy solution.

Client Feedback

Carl Lafferty, Survey and Positioning Manager at First Marine Solutions, commented: “FMS has a clear determination to operate world-leading technology to reduce overall cost for our clients, whilst lowering the HSE and environmental impact and producing paper-free, modern survey data deliverables. We are delighted to have partnered with Unique Group in delivery of this debris survey project, with Uni-Pact allowing us to complete the campaign in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

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