Vaarst develops “industry leading” data collection system for subsea oil, gas operations

December 03, 2023

(WO) – Vaarst has developed the world’s first real-time data collection system capable of building live 3D reconstructions in deep waters down to 6,000 m/19,685 ft.

Vaarst SubSLAM Deeper

Industries that explore and operate in deepwater sites around the world including South America, the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa can now deploy Vaarst’s SubSLAM X2 technology to deliver complete spatial reconstructions to advance understanding of challenging subsea environments using SubSLAM Deeper.

Vaarst’s technology enables complete, accurate subsea data capture and intelligence for faster and easier decision making. SubSLAM X2 is the first real-time system to deliver dense point cloud data with perfect relative positioning and sub-millimetre precision underwater.

Developed in the UK, SubSLAM addresses many time-consuming disadvantages of conventional inspection procedures while delivering more detailed, quantifiable datasets faster than previously available. Applications across projects range from asset integrity, UWILD, subsea metrology for construction projects, decommissioning, retrofit engineering, UXO clearance and defect analysis. 

The latest addition to the SubSLAM X2 family, Deeper, triples the capability of Vaarst’s existing deepwater system which operates down to 2,000 m/6,562 ft. Vaarst also has a shallow water system which operates to depths of 300 m/984 ft.  

Fully tested to a depth of 6700 m, well beyond a 10% threshold, SubSLAM Deeper’s hardware was proven to be robust enough to withstand intense pressure while its ruggedized software and measurement performance was not affected by greater deepwater operation. It is already successfully operational in the Gulf.

Proven to be an industry game changer, SubSLAM utilizes a 4K stereo camera pair to provide exceptional resolution video while simultaneously create dense 3D point clouds at sub-millimeter accuracy. By using stereo imagery no scale bars are required, speeding up operations through more straightforward task plans. 

Mounted on any ROV carrying out a visual inspection, SubSLAM proves inspection coverage allowing work to be complete in a fraction of the time of other systems. This reduces potential for unnecessary additional mobilisations bringing cost and efficiency benefits to customers. 

In keeping with other SubSLAM X2 models, 3D reconstructions can be generated simultaneously while performing visual inspections. Reconstructions and inspection data can be live streamed to devices anywhere in the world over low bandwidth links (≤200kbps), enabling real-time assessment and remote manipulation of view and measurements.

Joe Tidball, Vaarst Business Unit Director, explained why this was an important addition to the SubSLAM X2 family, which will bring benefits to a wide range of customers around the world.

“As the subsea industry moves to using 3D data more often as a standard deliverable, we were continually asked to support projects beyond the 2000m rating of our existing SubSLAM systems. We’ve built on the verified X2 platform to create a system that can be used by engineers, researchers and surveyors that need accurate 3D modelling and precise measurements to de-risk and verify their deepwater activities.”

“SubSLAM Deeper’s unique ability to function at depths far below what’s currently offered gives operators the capability to explore new fields in even deeper, more hostile environments.



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