Sensor technologies

Underwater sensor technologies for automated pipeline inspection

Subsea pipelines are an integral part of offshore oil and gas production and are one of the most discussed topics in the subsea research community. Continuous inspection of these assets is essential to reduce environmental risks while allowing for a more surgical approach to their repair and maintenance. Over the years, pipeline inspection techniques have evolved from the manual click and scroll method to a point where we now have real-time 3D models with machine learning for automated events and reports. This is the premise for moving towards automated pipeline inspections.

With the increasing use of AUVs and increased pressure on offshore oil and gas budgets, pipeline inspection automation has become the new normal. The latest technologies and sensor packages are delivering levels of data quality that just a few years ago seemed like a pipe dream, allowing companies to make objective and informed decisions about their underwater assets. Below are the latest underwater sensor technologies that are essential for automated pipeline inspection.

Underwater dynamic laser scanners

Very high resolution, full scale 3D point cloud models that provide quantifiable data for automation and machine learning in real time. Capable of detecting anomalies, including bumps, buckling and ovality, while enabling predictive maintenance through modeling of free spans, nearby debris, anode volume / exhaustion rate and pipeline movement. State-of-the-art resolution provided by laser scanning systems, such as the Voyis Insight product line, enables pipeline tracking, anomaly events and structural referencing, unlocking the best possible 3D data for advanced capabilities.


Clear and crisp still images with time-synchronized geolocation, while simultaneously operating with a laser scanning system. The combination of the latest ultra-sensitive sCMOS sensors coupled with highly energy efficient LED strobe lights has paved the way for useful imaging at high vehicle speeds. A purpose-built underwater camera is capable of generating a mosaic of photos that can be draped over 3D laser models for consolidated analysis. Selecting a system with advanced parameters such as high dynamic range (bit depth) and extreme sensitivity, such as the Voyis Observer product line, will allow users to get the most out of each image with enhancements. / real-time image corrections.

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