An innovative new wireless subsea modem has been trialled at The Underwater Centre, a unique subsea testing and training facility in Fort William, Scotland.
WFS Technologies – the world’s leading supplier of wireless technology for underwater communication, navigation and power transfer – trialled the Seatooth® S100, a mobile, wireless subsea modem suitable for a variety of underwater applications from 100m – 4000m.
The modem can provide a reliable digital wireless communication link or logging device up to 5m range, even in challenging deep water conditions.
It is equipped with standard data communication interfaces, making it suited to sensor and underwater vehicle applications. It can be deployed swiftly on temporary or permanent installations to support safety and efficiency in a range of subsea applications including data logging, upgrading subsea equipment and wireless backup.
The key factor in the company’s decision to test the new Seatooth® S100 at Fort William was The Underwater Centre’s 1.5million litre indoor seawater tank which allowed the WFS team to both observe and monitor their equipment in one location without tidal drift.
WFS is one of many companies who have used The Underwater Centre in recent months, utilising the diverse range of facilities on offer to ensure optimum testing is carried out of new industry equipment. The company recently used the Centre to showcase another piece of technology to a client – using the large windows on the indoor tank for viewing – and were also able to shoot a video on-site for use in promotional materials, highlighting the diversity of the Centre’s capabilities.
Ian Crowther, Executive Vice President of WFS, said: “We are always on the look-out for good quality underwater testing facilities, and have tried various harbours, marinas and even an aquarium. No one else has been able to offer the facilities and professional set-up that The Underwater Centre can.
“The tank is especially good for providing clear visuals of the work we are doing – lovely clear water, no tides, so you know that the vehicle or item you place in the water will remain in place during testing. Compare this to a harbour, for example, when you put the item in the water and the tides hit it, accurate testing becomes more problematic.
“The Centre also provides a great chance to get good footage of the test pieces in the water – whether video or stills photography, which is great for showing to our clients.”
Steve Ham, General Manager at The Underwater Centre said: “Our trials and testing facilities are increasingly being used to facilitate the ever-expanding range of new equipment coming into the industry.
“Our sea water facilities, onshore tank and support infrastructure offer companies the confidence and reassurance that the results they receive here during trials are what they will experience in practice, therefore saving them time and added expense.”
The Underwater Centre, Fort William, which also has a school in Tasmania, is based on the shore of a seawater loch, and is well sheltered by the surrounding mountains. The Centre’s unique location allows it to provide year-round training and testing in an open-water environment, whilst still being centrally located in the largest town in the Scottish Highlands.
With access to depths of over 100 metres, it is the ideal location to perform realistic and industry specific saturation and air diver and ROV pilot technician training, as well as providing a convenient location for subsea equipment trials.
Press Release, November 13, 2012