Fastwave and Iridium team on Chevron’s Gordon LNG project

Environmental monitoring of dredging operations enabled by underwater data loggers and satellite.

Chevron Australia has awarded Fastwave Communications a contract for the provision of a water quality monitoring system on its Gorgon offshore LNG megaproject. Satellite communications are to be provided by Iridium. The system will provide environmental monitoring of dredging and spoil operations near the gas processing plant on Barrow Island.

Fastwave’s system consists of underwater instrumentation modules positioned on the sea floor around the dredging and spoil disposal sites. Each subsea module contains turbidity sensors, data loggers, an Iridium short-burst data (SBD) modem and rechargeable battery packs. These are connected to small moored buoys which relay the data packets through the Iridium satellites to an environmental monitoring system onshore.

Fastwave Director Nick Daws said, ‘We designed our underwater monitoring systems to take advantage of Iridium’s global coverage, high network quality and low-latency, two-way SBD links, providing a robust solution capable of working reliably under extreme environmental conditions.’

All system instrumentation is housed in waterproof, hardened subsea capsules rather than in surface data buoys, providing extra protection in the cyclone-prone region. The modules are designed to function at depths up to 50 meters with endurance of at least four months between battery recharges. More from

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