The M3 Sonar® is highly suited to ROV operations as it is capable of both imaging and profiling, and has a small size for ease of installation. It is a major cost saving compared to larger, lower frequency ROV mounted multibeam systems. The M3 Sonar® is also easily interfaces to 3rd party acquisition packages. A pair of Kongsberg Mesotech M3 Sonars were supplied through the rental company Seatronics, and mounted on the ROV in dual head configuration. The M3 Sonars were then used to run a profiling survey over the LNG pipeline, which was logged in EIVA Naviscan acquisition software by the survey team.
The M3 Sonar® system performed very well and the following points were observed:
- The resolution of the M3 Sonar ® was proven to be excellent quality for pipeline profiling surveys and the data was generally very clean
- Large and small free spans were able to be detected with the M3 system
- The M3 Sonar ® data file sizes are relatively small in size compared to other multibeam systems making them easier to handle and faster to process
- Using the M3 Sonar ® could allow the ROV to move faster and thus use less vessel time to undertake pipeline profiling surveys