Marine Electronics

Subsea Power Systems Testing

The first full-scale prototype of a subsea variable speed drive has been successfully tested in a sheltered harbor in Vaasa, Finland, taking the vision of an all-electric subsea processing facility one step closer to reality. A variable speed drive is needed to boost the productivity of oil and gas processes and improve energy efficiency while providing the highest reliability.

The test is the latest in a five-year joint industry project (JIP) between Statoil, Total, Chevron and ABB that aims to develop transmission, distribution and power conversion systems for subsea pumps and gas compressors operating at depths of 3,000 m and over vast distances. By providing the large power needs closer to the reservoir, production improves due to the increased flow and pressure of the stream. The subsea variable speed drive designed for subsea gas compression was operated over three weeks in 2017, in a back-to-back configuration directly with the grid, without motor loads. This “power-in-the loop” test means that only a few hundred kilowatts of losses need to be supplied from the grid.

Following the success of the test, the JIP is now preparing for a 3,000-hour shallow-water test of a subsea power system with two variable speed drives in parallel, combined with subsea switchgear and controls, to start late 2018. The first installation of the new subsea power systems in offshore production sites is expected to begin in 2020.


Push to Digitalize Offshore Supply Chain

Kongsberg Digital is purchasing a 34 percent ownership share in NSG Digital, a subsidiary of the supply base and logistics company NorSea Group, which is controlled by Wilhelmsen and is joining forces with Kongsberg Digital to digitalize the supply chain in the oil and gas and offshore wind industries.

Kongsberg Digital and NSG Digital have collaborated since the beginning of 2017 on developing a new logistics system called NSG E2E. NSG E2E (end-to-end) is offered as a part of Kongsberg Digital’s application platform, Kognifai, and is a solution that improves logistics management through increasing information sharing and collaboration in the supply chain.


Wireless Diver Body Temp Monitoring System

WFS Technologies Ltd. of Edinburgh, Scotland, has partnered with EERS Global Technologies Inc. of Montreal, Canada, to develop Seatooth, the world’s first underwater wireless ear-based core body temperature monitoring system for divers. Seatooth comprises a custom earpiece with integrated temperature sensor wirelessly enabled by a Seatooth wPAN (wireless personal area network) node.

Diver core body temperature is transmitted wirelessly to Seatooth SWiCOM, a wireless underwater tablet so that diver core body temperature can be monitored. This information can be transmitted securely to a diver buddy using Seatooth wireless communications.

A demonstration was held at a Department of Defense Special Operations Command event in Florida.


ROVOP Receives Funds For Bigger ROV Fleet

ROVOP Ltd., an independent operator of ROVs, will immediately increase its fleet by 50 percent to meet ongoing customer demand following a funding boost of £56 million.

Blue Water Energy and BGF have jointly committed to the funding that underpins ROVOP’s ambitious future growth plans. The funding is financing an increase of the fleet to 24 ROVs, with the new assets being acquired from Tidewater in Houston. Tidewater owns and operates one of the largest fleets of offshore support vessels globally.

ROVOP focuses on the provision of ROV services to the oil and gas, offshore wind, telecom and power transmission industries. Along with ROVs, the company provides experienced operators trained in house.


Hacking Demo Shows Maritime Vulnerabilities

Naval Dome has demonstrated the maritime industry’s nightmare security scenario with a series of cyber penetration tests on systems in common use aboard tankers, containerships, super yachts and cruiseships. Test results revealed with startling simplicity the ease with which hackers can access and override ship critical systems.

With the permission, and under the supervision, of system manufacturers and owners, Naval Dome’s cyber engineering team hacked into live, in-operation systems used to control a ship’s navigation, radar, engines, pumps and machinery. While the test ships and their systems were not in any danger, Naval Dome was able to shift the vessel’s reported position and mislead the radar display. One attack resulted in machinery being disabled, signals to fuel and ballast pumps being overridden and steering gear controls manipulated. Another was able to alter draught/water depth details in line with the spurious position data displayed on screen.

The test ship’s radar was hit in another attack, with success in eliminating radar targets, simply deleting them from the screen. At the same time, the system display showed that the radar was working perfectly, including detection thresholds.

A separate controlled attack was performed on the machinery control system. In this case, Naval Dome’s team chose to penetrate the system using an infected USB stick placed in an inlet/socket. The virus infecting ship systems can also be unwittingly transferred by the system manufacturer.