Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Survey and Inspection

C & C's AUV fleet has performed more than 350,000 kilometers (55,000 hours) of high-resolution surveys - including AUV pipeline inspection - when only the latest AUV technology could meet the demand. 

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle AUV Surveys

C & C Technologies was first to offer commercial Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) survey services to the offshore oil and gas industry.

In 2000, C & C's clients requested help to reduce deepwater survey and inspection costs. C & C combined its extensive operational experience with lessons learned from its US Navy unmanned research programs to introduce C-Surveyor I, the worlds first commercial AUV designed for surveys for the oil and gas industry.

As the result of C & C's expertise and vision for the survey and mapping market, cost-effective AUV surveys are now being performed routinely in a variety of worldwide offshore applications. C & C has put this AUV technology to work for more than 74 different clients in 14 different countries to date. As the energy industry has expanded its use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for subsea survey efforts, C & C has remained committed to leading AUV technology advancements.

As oil and gas operators have moved into deeper waters, the need for high quality and reliable pipeline and flowline inspection methods to verify the integrity of subsea structure has become more essential. 

C & C Technologies has helped change deepwater survey methods by ushering in the use of AUV inspection technology for pipeline surveys. Autonomous Underwater Vehicle technology offers a higher quality data in pipeline inspections while being faster and more cost-effective than previous survey methods.

Continuing to advance AUV technology for pipeline inspection and geohazard surveys, C & C has unveiled the fastest and most accurate pipeline inspection tool in the industry. Learn more about the field results from the AUV pipeline inspection innovation that captures high-resolution images, a laser-producing 1,400 soundings per profile and collecting 29 profiles per second.

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Survey Services:

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C & Cs newest Autonomous Underwater Vehicle survey technology, C-Surveyor VI, incorporates an innovative payload that offers unique capabilities for the inspection of pipelines and subsea infrastructure. In addition to a side scan sonar, multibeam echosounder, and sub-bottom profiler, the C-Surveyor VI is integrated with a 3-D bathymetric laser, a camera photo mosaic system, a hydrocarbon detector, and a magnetometer.

The C-Surveyor VI captures three-dimensional "point cloud renderings at five-millimeter resolution of pipelines, subsea infrastructure, and surrounding geomorphology. Combined with high-resolution photo mosaics, this innovative capability is used to inspect and document the survey life-cycles of pipelines and peripheral seafloor assets. Additional information on pipeline survey life-cycle management can be found at Pipeline 4D.

C & C has performed a wide variety of specialized AUV surveys including downed aircraft searches, deepwater coral mapping, and high-resolution micro seismic at four-meter line spacing. AUV survey services include:

Geohazard Surveys

These surveys identify any conditions at the seabed or in the foundation zone where hazardous subsurface features or unstable soil conditions exist. C & Cs customized sensor suite provides unmatched data quality to identify potential geohazards including submarine landslides, debris flows, shallow gas accumulation, faults, mud volcanoes, and methane hydrates.

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Pipeline Surveys

Pipeline surveys are performed to assess the seafloor and subsurface for geologic features and to identify any man-made hazards and obstructions that may impact potential archaeological resources, or have an adverse effect on the proposed pipeline activities. AUVs are ideal for pipeline route surveys due to their agility and efficiency. AUV survey data is developed into reports and alignment sheets for pipeline, flowline, and umbilical routing. Learn about C & C's Pipeline 4D services.

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As-Built Surveys

As-built surveys verify the condition of the pipeline shortly after its construction. Periodic inspection surveys reduce risk by providing documented evidence of the existence or absence of spans, cathode erosion, leaks, movement, and damage. C & C provides cost-effective deepwater AUV pipeline inspection surveys with engineering quality 3-D bathymetric laser data and high-resolution photo mosaics. Learn about C & C's Pipeline 4D services.

Block Studies

AUV surveys are conducted in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico prior to any operations involving oil and gas exploration and production. This data is used for archaeological assessments and to identify seafloor and subsurface features that may have an adverse effect on drilling operations. Potential geological surface hazards may include faults, gas vents, surface channels, furrows, sinkholes, hydrate mounds, unstable slopes, and reefs. Subsurface geologic hazards may include gas-charged sediments, faults shallow-water flow, and buried channels.

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Archaeological Assessment Surveys

Historic Marine Archaeological Assessments are required in the Gulf of Mexico where proposed bottom-disturbing activities may impact submerged archaeological resources including pipeline, flowline, umbilical, anchor, and platform placement. C & Cs AUVs meet or exceed archaeological assessment data requirements and offer advanced onboard sensor options should further investigation be warranted.

Unique sensors complement C & C's standard AUV payload suite. These include a bathymetric 3-D laser, a camera photo mosaic system, and a magnetometer. The bathymetric laser collects high-density 3-D point cloud data at a resolution of five millimeters. The camera photo mosaicing system delivers photomosaics with rapid view, zoom, and search capabilities. A magnetometer detects ferrous objects, which is beneficial data for marine archaeological assessments.

Archaeological Site Surveys

Sites of known archaeological significance are mapped and documented in unparalleled detail and precision with C & Cs new AUV sensor suite, which includes:

  • 3-D laser bathymetry
  • Camera mosaicing
  • Magnetometer
  • Side scan sonar
  • Sub-bottom profiler
  • Multibeam bathymetry

Correlating these complementary data sets provides accurate identification and verification of site artifacts, debris field mapping, and precise target measurements.

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Government and Academic Surveys

C & Cs AUVs have been employed for a variety of government and academic survey projects. These include scientific expeditions for NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration to perform deepwater coral mapping, historic shipwreck surveys, and geotechnical investigations. Notable AUV projects include detailed mapping of the German Submarine U-166 in the Gulf of Mexico, locating the historic HMS Ark Royal near Gibraltar, and finding two missing aircraft lost off the archipelago of Los Roques, Venezuela, one of which was carrying Italian fashion design CEO Vittoio Missoni and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni.


Deepwater Benthic Community Surveys

AUV camera assessments provide ground-truthing of deepwater benthic communities to identify and localize, or disprove, their presence. Deepwater benthic communities may include clams, mussels, tubeworms, and other organisms that thrive in the absence of sunlight.

C & C's Autonomous Underwater Vehicle provides documented assessments of deepwater benthic communities, which meet or exceed regulatory requirements to maximize leaseholders' development options.



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