Conducting underwater seismic surveys can be an extremely challenging task, requiring the deployment of specialised equipment such as ocean-bottom seismometers in hostile environments, often several thousand meters beneath sea-level.
Sercel Underwater Acoustics develops subsea data transmission solutions and marine instrumentation for oceanographic manufacturing, naval, and oil and gas applications.
Products include underwater acoustic communication, positioning and passive acoustic monitoring, and marine mammal detection systems. Sercel also provides ocean-bottom seismometers, mooring monitoring beacons, and hydrophones for optimised marine communication.
Multi-modulation acoustic telemetry units for the naval industry
MATS 3G is an underwater acoustic unit, providing a single solution for subsea communication. It features innovative digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities for long-range and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).
The system is compact, lightweight, and has a high data rate link for transferring side-scan sonar information or images from a subsea camera to a master vessel.
Sercel Underwater Acoustics
MATS 3G can be installed in offshore drilling platforms to provide an accurate underwater communication solution for subsea valve operations. It is used in oceanographic applications and real-time monitoring carried out by networking stations.
The unit features Vitac software modules to improve image transmission and acoustic signals in horizontal channels, ensuring files are retrievable in the event of communications failures.
MATS 3G combines Trident software in a string of four hydrophones. Trident improves the high data rate communication in horizontal channels (shallow water) and noisy environments by managing the processing of multipath spreading. There is a 6dB signal-to-noise improvement when using Trident.
Cost-efficient acoustic positioning solutions
GeoTag is a state-of-the-art, turnkey acoustic positioning solution designed for ocean-bottom or transition-zone seismic equipment. The cost-effective and adaptable system can reach depths of 500m and is one of the smallest acoustic transponder currently on the market.
The system can be deployed for shallow and deep surveys, while up to 10,000 transponders can be used per system.
Autonomous ocean-bottom seismometers
MicrOBS is an autonomous 4-C ocean-bottom seismometer, which is able to reach a total depth of 6,000m and record primary and secondary waves for up to 24 days.
The seismometer integrates a combination of 3-C low-distortion geophones and a hydrophone.
It can be retrieved easily with a radio signal and flashlight to download data. By sending a specific signal from the vessel, MicrOBS releases its anchor to enable it to return to the surface.
MicOBS is designed for deepwater refraction seismic surveys, delivering excellent refractor arrivals from crustal discontinuities. The seismometer has 4-C multi-component recording capabilities and allows accurate characterisation of primary and secondary wave velocities in deep crustal layers.
The technology is used to monitor earthquakes and natural seismicity to determine the epicentre and related mechanisms in active tectonic areas.
Passive-acoustic monitoring systems and mooring beacons
Sercel’s QuietSea passive-acoustic monitoring (PAM) system offers advanced marine mammal detection capabilities for offshore operations. It has a wide-frequency listening range, covering a large variety of vocalising cetacean species.
QuietSea carries out appropriate monitoring and mitigation measures to protect marine life during naval operations. It can be deployed in civil engineering projects where marine construction activities are likely to produce underwater noise and vibration levels capable of disturbing marine mammals.
The passive-acoustic solution complies with worldwide monitoring regulations to enable environmentally friendly naval activities.
Sercel’s blind-approach beacon systems (BABS) warn operators of mooring line breaks and help to quickly retrieve surface buoys through ARGOS satellite signal transmissions.
BASM send warnings through the ARGOS satellite technology to enable underwater equipment to resurface. They quickly retrieve drifting equipment at sea, significantly reducing operations downtime.
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Sercel Underwater Acoustics recently conducted sea trials on behalf of Ariane Group.
Sercel will be attending European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna, Austria, in April.