UNDERWATER acoustic positioning company Sonardyne International has deployed one of its devices for Brunei Shell Petroleum, the UK-based company has announced.

Sonardyne deployed a network of autonomous monitoring transponders (AMTs) in 45 metres of water, in order to detect minute changes in the seafloor due to settlement.

The network was supplied with compact subsea instrument housings and anti-trawl seabed frames custom-designed by Sonardyne to provide protection from commercial fishing activities in the area, due to the relatively shallow water depths of the survey location.

The AMTs were each supplied in compact, glass sphere instrument housings and then encased within bespoke, low profile anti-trawl frames designed and manufactured by Sonardyne to provide excellent resistance to snagging by fishing nets, as well as corrosion and bio-fouling.

After an initial period of testing and configuration, the system is now fully operational and has been left to record and log data, Sonardyne said.

“Precise seabed pressure, temperature and salinity will be recorded every hour whilst non-critical data such as battery consumption and pitch and roll will be logged every day,” the company said.

Vessels would periodically recover data from the AMTs for analysis, to identify any noticeable trends in seafloor deformation, though apart from these visits, the structures would function autonomously.

Sonardyne’s global business manager for exploration Shaun Dunn said a number of AMTs had been deployed for long-term projects since 2007.

“This latest project has given us another chance to showcase our custom engineering capabilities which this time included designing and manufacturing a new anti-trawl seabed frame that will provide protection for the AMTs and ensure the survey remains on schedule,” he said.