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DeepStar 11304: Laying the Groundwork for AUV Standards for Deepwater Fields

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Emerging autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) developments across the oil and gas industry now include pipeline inspection; structural survey; deepwater inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM); and field resident systems for remote/harsh environments. As these capabilities mature, AUVs will become an increasingly important tool for deepwater field operations. Early adoption of AUV standards will facilitate more rapid deployment of AUV technologies and enable the industry to reap a wide range of safety, environmental, operational, and economic benefits for its deepwater fields. The development of industry standards for AUV interfaces will facilitate more rapid implementation of AUV capabilities and lead to more cost-effective, compatible system designs by AUV vendors and field hardware manufacturers. The development of regulatory standards for the interpretation and acceptance of autonomous inspection results is also an essential step toward the achievement of more cost-effective operations and regulatory oversight of deepwater subsea fields. This paper describes a future vision for the use of AUVs in deepwater field operations, the benefits to be realized, and the future capabilities of AUVs that must be anticipated and facilitated within AUV standards to achieve that vision. Additionally, this paper describes the goals and objectives of DeepStar Project 11304, which is laying the groundwork to achieve accelerated standardization of AUV interfaces and the development of regulatory standards for AUV inspections.

Keywords: autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV); deepwater field; inspection; interface standards; regulatory standards

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-05-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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