Sophisticated seismic team trainer deployed at Vestfold University.
A cutting-edge new system, designed to train engineers and crew in seismic streamer deck handling has been installed at Vestfold University College in Norway. The Seismic Streamer Deck Operation Trainer was developed as part of Kongsberg Maritime's leading Offshore Vessel Simulator, in co-operation with Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) following an agreement signed Q4 2010. The system passed its Site Acceptance Test at Vestfold University College in March 2012 and is now fully operational.
A highly advanced training tool in its own right, the Seismic Streamer Deck Operation Trainer also uniquely utilises the Kinect™ for Windows motion sensing device. It is equipped on student stations and tracks their movements in order to display them on a highly realistic depiction of the stern streamer deck. This enables students to physically walk around the deck area, completing set tasks according to the specific exercise. They are equipped with a virtual toolbox presented on a touch screen close by and two are also equipped with a winch/block control device, which is a physical device worn around the waist, allowing them to select and control the correct winch/block for the job – exactly as in real life.
The new Seismic Streamer Deck Operation Simulator is based on the PGS seismic vessel, Ramform Viking. It features an accurate hydrodynamic model, 3D hull design and realistic stern streamer deck to ensure that students relate to the simulated vessel environment during training. The detailed hydrodynamic model behaviour is an important aspect for vessel navigators and operators on the streamer deck, as the operation of winches changes according to conditions and vessel motion.
A typical simulation scenario involves three students; one is assigned supervisor, responsible for controlling winches, using a real winch control terminal interfaced to the simulator. The other two students operate auxiliary winches and are equipped with the virtual toolbox, with all equipment needed to complete the operation simulated on screen. For the streamer deck crew it is important to know the different procedures and to learn what type of tools from the toolbox are needed to dismount the streamer equipment.
"Back-deck operations have been increasing in complexity over the years and personnel are getting less exposure to these critical operations, so we decided that simulator training was a natural step to ensure safety and efficiency," comments Einar Nielsen, Vice President Projects, Marine Acquisition PGS. "This has been an interesting and challenging project for both parties and I would say the techniques employed with the system represent a step change in simulator training for the offshore environment."
The installation at Vestfold University College consists of two Instructor stations, one navigation bridge, winch and block control terminals, a common info station for all three students and three streamer deck crew operator stations (student stations). Each student station consists of three 65" TFT-LCD screens mounted vertically, which displays their simulated position on the streamer deck and the actions they are carrying out with the virtual toolbox. The centre display units are fitted with touch screens, allowing the student to open and close valves and winch locks, power on/off winches and blocks together with enabling lines on the helper winches in the scene.
"Seismic streamer deck operations simulator training has been made possible as a result of an extensive R&D effort with PGS, which has resulted in an incredibly life-like depiction of working on a streamer deck," comments Geir Lilje, Product Manager, Kongsberg Maritime. "The project is part of our on-going development of the Kongsberg Offshore Vessel Simulator, which is driven by direct customer requests and demand for new training possibilities to meet the changing needs of the offshore oil & gas industry."