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Algorithm for Auto-Piloting Efficient Seismic Line-Change Turning Maneuvers

[+] Author Affiliations
Jan Vidar Grindheim, Ken Welker, Peder Solheim

Geograf AS, Sandnes, Norway

Inge Revhaug

NMBU, Ås, Norway

Egil Pedersen

Arctic University of Norway (UiT), Tromsø, Norway

Paper No. OMAE2018-77226, pp. V11BT12A001; 10 pages
  • ASME 2018 37th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 11B: Honoring Symposium for Professor Carlos Guedes Soares on Marine Technology and Ocean Engineering
  • Madrid, Spain, June 17–22, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5133-3
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Seismic surveys for petroleum exploration utilizing towed streamers are typically performed line by line. Between the lines, a 180° turn of the complete towed gear is necessary. This operation is time consuming and thus expensive. There is evidence in the literature that the turn maneuver can be made more efficient by taking advantage of favorable sea currents [1].

In the present study, an autopilot algorithm is developed for performing efficient line-change maneuvers, taking into account sea current, if present. The algorithm controls the vessel path and speed during the turn, as well as the streamer bird forces. The algorithm has been developed and validated utilizing a proprietary towed seismic streamer simulator, employing realistic seismic streamer spreads.

Simulation results for ranges of sea current speeds and bearings are presented for two different seismic spread configurations. Turning times are compared to estimated traditional turning time ranges.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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