In close cooperation with the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE), Kongsberg Maritime deployed two ocean observatories, called K-Landers, offshore Svalbard in 2015. CAGE scientists have recently retrieved the long-term observatories that have been deployed on the ocean floor in the Arctic for over a year.
Since the recovery of the CAGE sensor platforms, an innovative effort has been undertaken to further elaborate the design of the K-Lander. With a unique building block concept, consisting of stacking identical support frames to match the needed payload, the K-Lander can be customized and scaled-up to a multitude of long-term subsea monitoring scenarios. The individual modules are then allocated to their specific role in the modular concept:
- Buoyancy module and communication
- Payload section (sensors, batteries or a mix of both)
- Remote-releasable ballast weight
Another design feature of the K-Lander is aimed to improve deployment and recovery by implementing the self-floating buoyancy based recovery system. Instead of employing a rope and buoy, the new K-Lander uses a releasable ballast weight system for recovery, making it independent from cost-intensive recovery equipment like ROVs, Dynamic Positioning (DP) requirement for vessel during winching, and one-off recovery rope cartridges. This design maintains the previous specified standard depth rating of up to 2,000 m
Whether using Kongsberg sensors or additional third party sensors to monitor the K-Lander utilizes a digital processing unit (DPU), which allows for the connection of up to 10 sensors that are powered by a sophisticated power management system (PMU). Customers will greatly benefit from this advantage of managing and controlling sensor operations as well as collecting and pre-processing sensor data directly on the survey site. For example, intelligent algorithms allow for event-based changes in scheduling and switching between sample scenarios or alerts / notifications. The incoming data is computed within the DPU into a comprehensive environmental model rather than plain data logging, making it quicker and more efficient to act on data received.
Communication between the K-Lander and the surface is based on the Kongsberg Maritime cNODE technology and the proprietary HiPAP Cymbal acoustic protocol for positioning and data link. These well-established technologies ensure confidence that the K-Lander will continue delivering data while deployed for months to years below the surface.
The result of the modular K-Lander Mk2 design is the first standardized, adaptable, and reusable seabed lander solution from the Kongsberg Subsea Monitoring business unit. This approach offers significantly reduced total-cost-of-ownership compared to per-project or custom seabed lander solutions. The team is happy to announce that this design will be available to customers starting in November 2016.