Unique 'diving bird' technology highlighted for design innovation.
Kongsberg Seatex's unique 'eBird' Seismic Streamer Control System has been nominated for the prestigious Honours Award for Design Excellence by the Norwegian Design Council (NDC). Kongsberg Seatex, Kongsberg Maritime's specialist in position reference systems, and attitude determination, is one of four companies to be nominated, with the winner to be announced during the Norwegian Design Day on Wednesday 16th March, 2011.
With oil & gas exploration taking place in increasingly demanding environments, the offshore industry depends on new technology to overcome the challenges caused by working further from shore and in deeper waters. Kongsberg Seatex's eBird is one such piece of technology. It is a novel bird concept for lateral, vertical and roll streamer control in marine seismic acquisition that enables fault tolerant and efficient multi streamer steering by employing a wide range of innovative and patented technological solutions.
According to R&D Manager at Kongsberg Seatex, Arne Rinnan, the starting point for eBird was an idea from Kongsberg Seatex almost 20 years old: "Some ideas take longer to mature than others. Even though the idea has existed for a long time, it was not until we had a competitive concept that we took the first steps towards the product development of eBird."
In short-listing eBird for the design award, the NDC panel of judges recognises the overall design and operational value of this unique system. A number of details also highlight eBird as an innovative design, including the titanium body for maximum tensile strength as well as extraordinary corrosion resistance. The smart design and construction ensures very low acoustic noise, and can be adapted to all types of streamer cables, whilst the innovative implementation utilising connector-less power and signal transfer between body and wings makes eBird® robust for all operational conditions.
"We developed the eBird® technology in close cooperation with the industry, which has also facilitated extensive tests and trials. A team of designers from Inventas in Trondheim got involved during the early development of eBird and has been a fully integrated part of the development group throughout the project," continues Rinnan. "We live by developing products with qualities that make them leaders within their markets. To be nominated for this honours award proves that we have succeeded in implementing good design to enable the benefits that eBird offers to the industry."
eBird was launched at the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) annual meeting in Houston in October 2009 and was quickly recognised as one of the most innovative seismic products to be introduced for a long time. A cooperation agreement with PGS, a major maritime seismic operator strengthened this position, implying that that eBird will be standardised as a steering unit on a range of the company's advanced cables.