Offshore Wind sparks Applied Acoustics product development

As Applied Acoustic Engineering (AAE) has always known, industry diversification and changes in standards and practices, often necessitate an adjustment in the outputs of associated technology providers. The award winning manufacturer of marine geophysical survey systems long ago identified the shift in business activities of its core customers from traditional offshore oil & gas projects to the burgeoning global offshore wind industry, and has spent time channelling their experience in marine survey practices to remodel and enhance their product portfolio to better serve the needs of this industry. Realigning the highly regarded range of Duraspark geophysical sound sources, the UK based company now offers a complete array of systems in tune with the specific requirements and demands put in place by the offshore wind operators.

New for 2020, two lightweight sparkers have been added to the Duraspark product line, complementing AAE’s existing systems and creating an extended family of negative discharge sparkers. Featuring twin banks of 40 electrode tips, the Duraspark L80 can operate in 40 or 80 tip mode, offering energy outputs of either 100 Joules or 200 Joules per shot; ideal for very shallow areas, and coastal & estuarine surveys. Its uniquely small footprint and low power consumption makes it particularly useful on board smaller survey craft with limited deck space and minimal lifting equipment.

The Duraspark L200 features twin banks of 100 electrode tips that can be fired at up to 500 Joules per shot concurrently, independently, in flip-flop mode or with a combination of fire delay or split fire delay. This flexibility, together with selectable source depth, allows the sound source to be used in both shallow and deeper waters for multiple marine geophysical data gathering applications.

In service since 2016, the workhorse of the Duraspark range of sparkers continues to be the Duraspark UHD 240/400. These proven sound sources can be found across the globe, acquiring the high resolution seismic data required for renewable energy installations, offshore oil & gas surveys and for the research and study of areas of scientific interest. With the ability to operate at energy levels of up to 2000 Joules per shot, these are extremely flexible tools with the capability of working within many project scenarios.

Making its first appearance during the second half of 2019, the Duraspark UHD 400 + 400 sits at the head of the Duraspark family and is the most sophisticated system in the range. Consisting of twin decks of 400 electrode tips, the operator is able to tune the source from the vessel to fit the required function and data requirements. Each deck can be fired independently from the CSP power supply, in flip flop mode, combined with fire delays or a split fire delay. Utilising the fire delay functions, the signatures from the 2 decks can be combined to bubble form the acoustic signature, creating an extremely clean pulse at high energy outputs, resulting in sparker data of the highest quality and resolution.

All Duraspark systems from AAE feature negative discharge, long life electrodes designed to provide the consistently stable, repeatable sound pulses required for high resolution sub-bottom geophysical surveys, while keeping operational maintenance to a minimum.