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N-Sea and University of Strathclyde to collaborate

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World Pipelines,

Over the last 10 years, subsea inspection has come a long way in terms of sensors and high definition cameras. However, the annotation process remains a largely manual process. N-Sea and the University of Strathclyde’s Institute of Sensors, Signals and Communications will collaborate on an innovative research project that aims for automated subsea pipeline inspection.

The organisations have secured substantial funding from the Data Lab Innovation Centre for a project that will combine N-Sea’s inspection expertise and the University of Strathclyde’s innovative data analytics research. The approaches and techniques adopted by the University and N-Sea have not been attempted in the subsea environment. They hope to transform the inspection industry.

David Murray, Survey and Inspection Data Centre Manager at N-Sea, said: “We’re enjoying working with the University of Strathclyde on this project and grateful to the Data Lab for supporting this partnership. Our joint collaboration is pivotal to the success of the project which we hope will transform pipeline inspection operations.”

He added: “As a leader in subsea pipeline inspection, we have seen ROV technology evolve significantly over the years. However, inspection operations still require ROV pilots and inspection engineers who annotate the data acquired. By working closely together, we aim to automate the inspection process and operate ROVs at previously impossible speeds.”

Commenting on the University’s partnership with N-Sea, Dr Christos Tachtatzis, an Academic Principal Investigator, Lecturer and Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, said: “Our research group is excited to partner with N-Sea in this innovative project for the hostile and extreme subsea environment. Deep learning approaches have great potential to speed up the inspection processes, which remain manual and labour intensive.”

Tachtatzis added: “We have a long tradition of conducting industrially relevant research with high economic, environmental and societal impacts and this is a prime example of the challenges we seek to provide solutions for.”

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