Ecotone Takes Spectral Technology Underwater
During the last years Ecotone has developed new technology for use of underwater hyperspectral imager (UHI).
The method can, amongst others, be used for scanning seabed sediments and detecting salmon lice for the aquaculture industry, performing automatized inspection of pipelines and other subsea structures and mapping of seabed minerals.
Ecotone started its business development aiming to serve the oil and gas industry. Environmental monitoring and sediment analysis related to bottom fixed structures were the main topics. Then aquaculture industry players contacted Ecotone and addressed a number of challenges.
– We responded to this and are now developing methods to solve different problems, says Ivar Erdal, CEO in Ecotone. – Our method for detecting and monitoring salmon lice by use of UHI is now being developed for the market. We see a great demand for this technology, Erdal adds.
The fish farms in Norway includes around 1100 licences. Each location has to document healthy bottom conditions at regular intervals. Until now this process has been done by grabbing sediment samples. Ecotone is developing a new method which combines use of O&G ROV’s and UHI for scanning of the seabed under and around the fish farms. This could lead to a much better mapping of the environmental condition and hence possibility to evaluate the impact on the surrounding areas.
Ecotone is also developing new methods for monitoring the environment around O&G installations and inspection of pipelines. The latter is done by mounting video cameras on ROV’s and thus producing data for automatic processing and detecting of various events.
– We believe that our pipeline inspection method can add value compared to manual methods using video systems and human eye, says Ivar Erdal. Use of UHI for inspection can identify specific situations very difficult to observe with human eye. Examples are bare metal, smaller cracks and anode status. – Our next move is to develop our product to perform inspection of different subsea structures and installations, also by use of AUV’s, he ends.
Methods for scanning the seabed for minerals is a coming marked. Ecotone is partner in the MarMine project, run by NTNU. As part of the survey in 2016 UHI was installed and tested on both AUV and ROV, looking for different minerals on the seabed. The purpose was to see if UHI can be used as an effecient first sorting method for seabed minerals.
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