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Deep Water: A new barrier in the inspection of underwater infrastructure


The undeniable Brazilian vocation for oil extraction of seabed, and the need to exploit resources increasingly far from the coast has prompted the development of national products and services with high technological level, and strict security standards. Offshore Oil & Gas industry experiences a change in the operating paradigm due to the increase in working depths, which commonly are classified as ultra-deep waters for exceeding the 1,500 meters deep mark.

The extraction of hydrocarbons at such depths not only increases the amount of submerged infrastructure, but also to its inaccessibility. Such structures are subject to an aggressive environment – due to the force of the currents, water temperature, salinity and high pressure – and require periodic inspections to prevent major natural disasters.

The use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) promises to assist in this type of task to be effective tools in underwater inspection process. This type of vehicle allows for periodic reviews in infrastructure of large tracts, with reduced logistics, and with larger amounts of data than possible through traditional means.

INESC P&D Brazil has a highly qualified team in Robotics and Sensors area with experience in conducting underwater vehicle designs. Thus, INESC P&D Brazil is available as a potential partner in this field.