Pipeline Survey with Oceaneering’s Freedom AUV

Written by Patricia Sestari

August 15, 2022


In a recent article by Oceaneering in Offshore magazine, the company announced the most recent milestone for the Freedom AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle): completing a pipeline inspection in an operational environment.  

Voyis is proud to be a part of this project, to partner with innovative organizations like Oceaneering and work together towards common goals – like the development and adoption of autonomous and resident subsea vehicles.  

A new era in subsea vehicles  

There is an increasing need for autonomous and resident subsea vehicles to perform offshore infrastructure inspections. They offer a more efficient and safer solution for subsea inspections, and can be used in a variety of operations, from pipeline inspection to environmental monitoring.  

Oceaneering’s Freedom AUV

Oceaneering’s Freedom AUV can complete surveys, commissioning, inspections, maintenance, and repairs without the need for a pilot to monitor and control the entire operation. The Freedom vehicle can be launched from shore to inspect subsea assets, dock underwater as resident vehicle, recharge, and transfer data, as well as move between fields to service other assets when needed. 

Oceaneering has been at the forefront of development and market release of autonomous and resident subsea vehicles, and now recently they achieved another milestone: completing a pipeline inspection in an operational environment. 

The sensors that make it possible 

The future of autonomous underwater vehicles is enabled by the advances in reliable optical and positioning sensors, as well as communication software and networks.  

The Freedom AUV is equipped with Voyis Insight Pro laser scanner, which provides high resolution data for the vehicle’s control software. Detailed 3D data enables the AUV to recognize pipeline features, including free-spans, depleted anodes, mattress crossings and anomalies. In addition, Voyis Observer stills camera and Nova LEDs provide high resolution stills imagery for inspection and vehicle control. 

Voyis laser scanners and stills cameras are essential for autonomous operations, since it allows the vehicle to efficiently detect anomalies and create sub-missions for further inspection, avoiding the requirement for costly subsequent inspection operations after the initial survey.  

In addition to that, the Freedom AUV is also equipped with another Covelya Group technology, the Sonardyne SPRINT-Nav 500 inertial navigational system. For autonomous and resident vehicles, a high level of accuracy needs to be achieved for reliable results.  

Contact us to learn more ways that Voyis and the Covelya Group are enabling subsea autonomy, for offshore energy, defence and ocean sciences.  

Sonardyne SPRINT-Nav
Voyis Insight Pro Laser Scanner
Voyis Observer Pro Stills Camera and Nova LED Panel
Example of pipeline data collected with Voyis’ optical sensors, from previous inspections

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