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Ocean Business


February 2013 Issue

AXYS, OADS to Develop Laser Wind Sensor
Under a partnership formed in January, AXYS Technologies Inc. (Sidney, Canada) and Optical Air Data Systems LLC (Manassas, Virginia), will develop and manufacture the Vindicator Generation 3 Laser Wind Sensor for the AXYS WindSentinel buoy system.

The Vindicator Generation 3 Laser Wind Sensor will feature enhanced wind resource data collection and a lens-cleaning solution specifically designed to operate in challenging marine environments.

OceanGate Acquires Lula Submersible
OceanGate Inc. (Seattle, Washington) has acquired the three-person submersible Lula from Portugal's Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation for commercial applications in biological and environmental surveys, monitoring and inspection.

Lula, an ABS-class vessel depth-rated to 500 meters, is powered by diesel-electric propulsion, allowing it to sail directly to dive sites without large crews or a surface support vessel.

To bring the Lula back into class as is and have it operational by summer 2013, OceanGate plans to do a special survey, which requires taking the sub completely apart.

Among Lula's first projects will be examining idle iron in the Gulf of Mexico and contract work for the University of Washington on behalf of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and U.S. Office of Naval Research.

SeaBotix Branches Out to East Coast
SeaBotix Inc. (San Diego, California) opened an East Coast office based in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. This satellite office will be a hub for sales, technical support, service and training.

ROV pilot and engineer Rhonda Moniz will head SeaBotix East.

Kraken to Supply AquaPix SAS System To Australian Defense Agency
Kraken Sonar Systems Inc. (St. John's, Canada) won a contract in January from Australia's Defence Science and Technology Organisation for an AquaPix Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) system.

The company had acquired the AquaPix intellectual property rights from Marport Deep Sea Technologies Inc. (St. John's) in December. Kraken was spun-out from Marport, which has incubated the development of the AquaPix SAS system for the past two years.

J.F. Lehman & Co. Makes Two Marine Acquisitions
J.F. Lehman & Co. (New York, New York) in January acquired IMECO Inc. (Iron Mountain, Michigan), a provider of turnkey marine electromechanical solutions for U.S. government and commercial customers. US Joiner (Crozet, Virginia), which had been acquired by J.F. Lehman & Co. in 2011, bought JCI Metal Products Inc. (San Diego, California) in December.

IMECO designs, engineers, plans, procures and installs heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, cargo handling, electric steering, propulsion and fire suppression systems for government and commercial vessels.

JCI provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services focusing on habitability, fabrication, electrical and piping solutions to U.S. Navy vessels. The deal will enable US Joiner to expand its footprint in the Pacific.

Fugro to Survey Wind Energy Area Offshore Virginia
Fugro Atlantic (Norfolk, Virginia) will conduct a geological and geophysical survey for the Virginia wind energy area within the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The area encompasses 112,799 acres at a distance of 23.5 nautical miles offshore Virginia Beach and the Port of Hampton Roads. The Atlantic OCS has never been developed for energy purposes, with little record of how installed structures have performed and basic knowledge of the character of the seafloor and subsurface.

Vigor Signs $40 Million Deal for Largest Floating Dry Dock in US
Vigor Industrial (Portland, Oregon) agreed in January to purchase a $40 million floating dry dock from Daoda Marine Heavy Industry Co. (Nantong, China), with scheduled delivery for March 2014. At 960 feet long, with an inside width of 186 feet and a lifting capacity of 80,000 long tons, it will be the largest floating dry dock in the United States.

Compared to Vigor's largest dry dock, the new one will be 300 feet longer, 1.5 times wider and able to lift more than triple the weight. Vigor will be able to service the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ships and private vessels, including post-Panamax cargo ships.

Deep Trekker DTG2 Units Delivered in 16 Countries
The DTG2 micro-ROV shipped to 16 countries in 2012, manufacturer Deep Trekker (Ayr, Canada) said in January. The company also added seven dealers last year. The ROV, introduced in November, has primarily been used in the aquaculture and fisheries market. Units have also been deployed for pipe and infrastructure inspection, academic and scientific research, and shipwreck investigation and salvage dive operations. The DTG2 has also found use aboard yachts, such as the Solemar. One of the latest DTG2 shipments includes a unit to NASA, the first headed for the aerospace industry.

Jet Edge Awarded US Patent for Ultrahigh-Pressure Water-Jet Seal Mechanism
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued in January a patent for a high-pressure fluid sealing mechanism designed by Jet Edge Inc. (St. Michael, Minnesota) research and design engineer Michael Wheeler.

Jet Edge's high-pressure fluid sealing mechanism (U.S. Patent 8,333,387) improves water-jet seal life by providing metal-on-metal sealing without the use of conventional plastic seals. It uses two convex curved surfaces in single line contact with one another to seal ultrahigh-pressure fluid at static pressures up to 130,000 pounds per square inch. To view the patent, visit http://1.usa.gov/VuWMjM.

ClassNK Authorized to Carry Out Surveys, ISM Audits for US Flag Administration
The U.S. Coast Guard granted expanded authorization to ClassNK (Tokyo, Japan), allowing the classification society to carry out surveys for the international conventions for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Prevention of Pollution From Ships (MARPOL) and Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships (AFS), as well as International Safety Management Audits, on behalf of the U.S. flag administration.

ClassNK can now issue a wider range of certifications for U.S.-flagged vessels. It is now authorized to carry out statutory surveys on behalf of 106 flag administrations.

Cobra Electronics Gets Patent to Add Cell Phone Capabilities to Marine Radios and Devices
Cobra Electronics Corp. (Chicago, Illinois) was awarded in January U.S. Patent No. 8,311,546 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its Bluetooth-enabled marine radio technology. The patent covers the ability to initiate and receive cell phone calls from and through purpose-built marine radios and related equipment.

This could improve call quality due to reduced wind and boat noise and create a very durable cell phone, as marine communication devices are already built to withstand water, salt and prolonged sun exposure.

Costa Concordia Tops 2012 Increase in Ship Losses, But Long-Term Downward Trend Continues
In the 12 months after the Costa Concordia incident, 106 ships were lost worldwide, according to a report published by global insurance company Allianz (London, England) in January.

This is up from 91 ships the previous year but a 27 percent decrease on the 10-year average of 146 ships per annum. Despite this downward trend, driven by technology, training and regulation, and a proactive response from the shipping industry to safety improvement, human error remains the core challenge. Fatigue, economic pressures and inadequate training are causes for concern. Foundering was the most common cause of losses in the past year (49 percent) followed by wrecking or running aground (22 percent).

Falmouth Updates its Bubble Gun Seismic Systems
Falmouth Scientific Inc. (Cataumet, Massachusetts) has made two enhancements to its HMS-620 Bubble Gun seismic systems, made for small-boat, shallow-water surveys.

By adding a second transmit channel to the existing transceiver enclosure and synchronizing the two signal generators, Falmouth has realized significantly higher energy output, which results in deeper signal penetration. The two source transducers can be mounted on one tow vehicle or can be configured as two separate single-source vehicles.

All Bubble Gun systems can now be fitted with a 24-volt DC power option, allowing users to perform surveys without the need for a generator or ship's power.

SeeByte, Bluefin Robotics Collaborate On Pipeline Inspection Software for AUVs
SeeByte (Edinburgh, Scotland) and Bluefin Robotics (Quincy, Massachusetts) have developed a software solutions for deepwater export pipeline inspections.

The collaboration is aimed at equipping Bluefin's 21-inch AUV platforms with SeeTrack AutoTracker. This will combine Bluefin's vehicle stability and navigation capabilities with SeeTrack AutoTracker's ability to accurately guide the AUV at a predefined offset from the pipeline.

Hydroid Littoral Battlespace Sensing AUVs Enter Full-Rate Production
The Hydroid Inc.'s (Pocasset, Massachusetts) contract to provide the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) with Littoral Battlespace Sensing (LBS) AUVs has moved from the engineering development model phase to full-rate production.

In response to this approval, SPAWAR has ordered the immediate production of three LBS AUVs (based on the REMUS 600) and one Shipset, including a launch and recovery system (LARS), a LARS flat rack, a mission van, a maintenance van and vehicle support equipment.

The U.S. Navy decided to move to full-rate production after more than a year of testing, determining that the LBS-AUVs were ready for deployment. The end user of these AUVs is the Naval Oceanographic Office.

Company Gets First ABS 2009 Approval for Forgings Over 500-MM diameter Used in Subsea Mooring
First Subsea (Lancaster, England) has been awarded the American Bureau of Shipping's ABS 2009 approval for its subsea mooring connectors. It is the first manufacturer of offshore mooring connectors to achieve this type approval for the design and manufacture of large-scale forgings bigger than 500 millimeters in diameter.

The approval applies to First Subsea's Ballgrab ball and taper mooring connectors manufactured from steel-grade 4330V forgings up to 510-millimeter outside diameter. The subsea mooring connectors can be used with R3-, R3S-, R4-, R4S- and R5-grade chain and shackle.

First Subsea collaborates with the University of Sheffield's Institute for Microstructural and Mechanical Process Engineering (IMMPETUS) to research the manufacture and testing of 4330V forgings.

EIVA Sponsors Study Program at The College of Charleston, University of Washington
EIVA (Hasselager, Denmark) has entered into a partnership with the College of Charleston and University of Washington on the BEAMS (benthic acoustic mapping and survey) Programme.

The partnership revolves around internships at EIVA's headquarters in Denmark and an annual three-day training workshop, taught by EIVA instructors, where the EIVA software suite is put to use at both the College of Charleston and University of Washington. This program will center on knowledge sharing and training the next generation of surveyors.

NCS Survey Takes Delivery of Two Gavia AUVs
NCS Survey (Aberdeen, Scotland) has expanded its AUV fleet with the purchase of two Teledyne Gavia ehf (K'pavogur, Iceland) AUVs.

The AUVs are used to provide ultrahigh-resolution data for pipeline and platform inspections, scour monitoring surveys, cable and pipe route surveys, and offshore wind farm surveys. For three years, NCS Survey has operated these vehicles in difficult access and remote areas, including the southern tip of Argentina. The vehicles are rated to 1,000 meters but regularly operate in depths as shallow as 2 meters. They can perform in currents of more than 2 knots, under jackup drilling rigs and very close to fixed platform structures.

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