Our modern demand for advanced telecoms connectivity, renewable energy sources and efficient power supply all depends on our cable networks. This means that offshore energy operators face a growing challenge, since expanding networks of subsea cables are difficult to monitor and maintain.
Cable breakdowns disappoint customers and can cost considerable time and money to repair. So, preventing cable failures by quickly identifying the problem and delivering a fast, targeted repair is vital.
Fotech’s LiveDETECT II® DAS powered monitoring technology supports customers worldwide to solve exactly that challenge.
In a subsea environment, where cable repairs can be dangerous and expensive, early and accurate detection of faults, damage or interference is crucial.
Fotech’s LiveDETECT II® modular suite of Helios DAS®, Panoptes and EDAM technology is proven to alert on relevant – and only relevant - events in real-time. It pinpoints those events to within just metres and evolves its AI understanding of subsea cable threats as the system learns from the data.
The advanced intelligence provided by our distributed acoustic sensing cable monitoring gears you up to deliver a safe, targeted and efficient response. Repair teams can be deployed to the exact location of the disturbance, already armed with the information they need to plan and carry out a quick and effective repair, or to address third party interference – whether accidental (such as anchor drag) or malicious (such as subsea cable theft).
Every event along and around an offshore cable generates a unique acoustic vibration. Using sophisticated distributed acoustic sensing, LiveDETECT II® delivers uninterrupted acoustic monitoring along the subsea cable or network of cables. This data is filtered and interpreted to determine the exact location and likely nature of the subsea cable event. Powerful Machine Learning also equips LiveDETECT II® to determine which events present a real threat, and which are irrelevant. You can therefore deploy a repair or security response to exactly the right area of the offshore cable, avoiding unnecessary expense and risk. You can also reroute the cable so that vital connectivity or power services are not lost.
LiveDETECT® Subsea Cable Applications
Fotech LiveDETECT II® equips offshore cable operators to monitor and protect:
Subsea Cable Exposure:
Identifying acoustic vibrations and strain that indicate loss of burial, so that the cable can be reburied before damage occurs.
Subsea Cable Arcing:
Detecting the initial impulse and subsequent shock waves that indicate cable insulation breakdown, so that a targeted repair can be planned.
Subsea Cable Strikes:
Detecting events such as anchor strikes, drag, or trawlers in the vicinity. LiveDETECT II®’s cable monitoring data can be cross referenced with ship location data so that vessels can be alerted, and damage avoided. Plus, integration with security systems such as UAV drones can identify parties responsible for the damage so that compensation can be sought where appropriate.
Subsea Cable Maintenance:
Identifying offshore cable problems that periodic inspection may miss. Remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) or divers can be deployed with precision to targeted areas.
Maintaining offshore cables is a complicated business. The subsea environment is constantly changing, so periodic ROV passes or bathometric surveys can miss potential issues.
The financial and reputational risks of subsea cable downtime are huge and present a very real business risk. So, if a cable is exposed to any sort of threat, early warning and accurate intelligence is crucial.
Customers choose Fotech’s continuous DAS monitoring and modular Machine AI technology to solve the challenge.
By automatically monitoring the entire length of the cable, LiveDETECT II® gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you will receive an early and accurate warning if issues or unexpected events arise.
For our customers, the accuracy, reliability, and sophistication of our DAS subsea cable monitoring is invaluable in supporting an offshore cable maintenance strategy that is efficient, safe, and cost-effective.
Offshore Cable Monitoring Case Study: Minimising Downtime and Repair Costs
The increasing demand for renewable energy is creating pressure on operators to enhance the robustness of growing subsea cable networks.
In a recent case study, offshore cable operators detected a fault in the cable network supporting an offshore wind farm. They were keen to locate, analyse and repair the fault in the most cost effective, fast, and safe manner. So, they deployed Helios DAS® by Fotech to convert the fibre optic line located within the three-core subsea cable into a powerful acoustic sensor.
Combined with flashover and spatial calibration tests, Helios DAS® pinpointed the location of the subsea power cable fault with 1 metre accuracy. This allowed diving engineers to minimise the section marked for repair to just 3.5 metres. They carried out the repair just before the weather turned dramatically. If conventional cable fault finding techniques – with a much longer time window – had been employed, the knock-on effect would have been a delay of at least one month.
As a result, Helios DAS® saved the customer millions of pounds in downtime, loss of service and loss of productivity.