This presentation will review the case for secure, high reliability acoustic signalling through water, with applicability to communication, monitoring and control requirements. Illustrations will be drawn from NASBOP to provide an example of critical data being transmitted and received acoustically in the deepwater Oil and Gas arena today.

Advances in Digital Acoustic Technology and the specific inception of spread spectrum communication technology have resulted in high integrity, high reliability transmission and reception of critical command and control data from Subsea BOP to surface vessels. These systems have unique ability to operate reliably in deep water, high multipath environments with greater than 99% reliability.

The foundation of Nautronix signalling is ADS2 (Acoustic Digital Spread Spectrum) technology. Proven ADS2 technology allows high integrity data transmission and excellent immunity to interference. Its long range capability (in excess of 5km dependent on environmental conditions) as well as reduced battery consumption, makes this technology the ideal solution as primary or secondary data management and communication. Ultimately, this technology will provide options for a wide range of life of field applications in the future.

NASeBOP, using ADS2 technology, provides the solution from a subsea control perspective without the traditional umbilical to remotely monitor other subsea equipment and retrieve data such as pressure/temperature wirelessly. NASeBOP provides 16 critical functions with feedback for the Subsea Isolation Device and allows for read-back of 8 analogue sensors to monitor critical subsea pressure and temperature readings. The system also allows the ability to activate an Emergency Disconnect Sequence (EDS) and to monitor the BOP status after disconnect.

The next evolution of BOP control is NASMUX; using 128 channels to fully control and monitor the BOP with acoustics. This technology will revolutionise BOP operations by addressing many of the current issues by providing a reduction of umbilical's and reels, elimination of downtime caused by umbilical damage and increased safety by reduction of moon-pool activity in handling of umbilical's. The system would provide full BOP functionality in the event of umbilical failure, in order to allow the operator to safely shut in a well before recovery for umbilical repair.

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