Blue Ocean Monitoring (BOM) has awarded an underwater glider contract to British industrial equipment Rental Company Ashtead Technology, as part of expanding its service offering globally.
Under the terms of the deal, Ashtead will store, maintain and supply underwater gliders for ocean data monitoring.
The company will additionally provide asset management services and project support from its offices in Aberdeen, Houston and Singapore.
Ashtead Technology commercial director Tim Sheehan said: "Through this exclusive agreement, Ashtead will hold gliders in each of its bases around the world, from where we will store, maintain and supply them providing our customers with a new, proven technology solution for ocean data collection.
"The gliders can be equipped with a choice of over 40 different sensors, and can be deployed in the water for up to a year at a time.
"With two-way satellite communications the gliders can be deployed and controlled anywhere in the world, they are highly weather resilient and have no environmental impact."
The underwater gliders, which operate using either buoyancy or wave motion propulsion mechanisms, can be deployed for longer periods compared to autonomous vehicles (AUVs) which are driven by conventional propellers.
Additionally, gliders are cost effective as well as capable of transmitting data in real-time when compared to the traditional vessel-based or fixed-mooring monitoring approaches. It also enables easy recovery.
Blue Ocean Monitoring managing director Simon Illingworth said: "Initially used extensively for academic and military applications, these gliders are now increasingly being embraced by the oil and gas community for a wide range of purposes.
Oil and gas applications include pipeline leak detection, oil spill response, decommissioning studies, dredge / construction plume monitoring, environmental monitoring and metocean studies.
Recently, BOM expanded its ocean monitoring business into Africa by entering into a strategic business alliance with Sea Technology Services (STS), aiming to become the leading ocean monitoring robotics service providers for survey companies in Africa.