FlexMoT - flexible environment monitoring for the offshore sector
Oil leakages at oil rigs can have wide ranging consequences for the marine environment and thus for mankind. The FlexMoT project shall enable an early and cost-effective detection of these leakages, so that appropriate action can be initiated swiftly.
The emerging monitoring system for underwater environments can monitor changes in the immediate environment of their platforms. For offshore platform operators cost-benefit calculations are as important as the protection of the marine environment. Disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 show to what extent these costs can arise.
The overall objective of the project FlexMoT is to develop a flexible tool for long-term monitoring, as well as an emergency system that needs minimal effort and time to set up and provide data. This monitoring system is designed for use in the underwater surrounding of offshore oil rigs, gas production platforms and also in the area of offshore windmills. It enables the exact measurement of concentration of gases like methane and other environmental parameters that may be indicators of leakages. Furthermore the system can work autonomously for several months or even a year. It can continuously log measurement data and send them to a central data receiver in predefined time intervals.
In the subproject "Development of software modules for data storage and visualization", Fraunhofer IGD provides innovative technologies and components from the fields of data management, data processing and visualization with early warning system and internet-based, mobile access to the system. Only with this enhanced information processing FlexMoT becomes an adequate monitoring and leakage forecast tool for marine environments.
Monitoring via FlexMoT
First, the monitor platform is launched from a ship at its designated position. After having declined to the sea floor independently it may still be repositioned by a ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle). Once it has been positioned, the platform extends its sensor-armed booms automatically and FlexMoT is ready for operation. The measured data is stored continuously in data floats. These ascend to the surface once a day and transmit the data to a receiving station. The aim is to build the transmitter's lifting bodies from biodegradable materials. The lifting bodies are supposed to decompose and rejoin the cycle of materials after only a few days of exposure to UV radiation.
CONTROS Systems & Solutions GmbH (underwater sensor systems and measurement technology)
OKTOPUS GmbH (system development and data transmission systems)
LEONI ELOCAB GmbH (manufacturer of cables for underwater engineering).