ThayerMahan Protects Subsea Cables


Connecticut-based ThayerMahan, Inc, a world leader in autonomous maritime solutions, demonstrated that its SeaScout system can detect damage to export and transmission cables that carry power from offshore wind turbines to the onshore power making it possible to identify cable damage prior to failure.

ThayerMahan’s President and CEO Michael Connor said, “We apply cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art AI to gain new insights into critical seabed areas. First, our high-speed, Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) delivers ultra-high-resolution imagery. Then we apply our AI algorithms to identify, classify, and localize what is there. What we are doing could fundamentally change the commercial offshore construction market.”

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ThayerMahan was awarded a $710,000 grant in the fall of 2021 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and National Offshore Wind Research & Development Consortium (NOWRDC). The resulting project entitled “Transmission and Export Cable Fault Detection and Prevention Using Synthetic Aperture Sonar” demonstrated that synthetic aperture sonar may reduce the number of subsea cable failure incidents by using Artificial Intelligence to automatically recognize potentially damaged cables revealed in ultra-high-resolution survey imagery. A formal presentation of results was made at NOWRDC’s National Offshore Wind R&D Symposium.

ThayerMahan teamed with OceanIQ, part of the Global Marine Group to analyze a database of cable failures and determine primary cable failure modalities. As part of the study, ThayerMahan acquired bona fide wind farm cables and simulated each of the failure modalities. The level of damage varied from no damage to a knotted cable. The simulated cable failures were then placed on the seabed where a high-speed, high-resolution SeaScout system imaged them. Gail Clark, Managing Director of OceanIQ said “ThayerMahan’s demonstrated capability will be a game changer for subsea power cable maintenance. Using this new technology to detect cable failures before they happen in conjunction with the immense knowledge that OceanIQ already hold – about the seabed; the likelihood of faults occurring on the cable route; other existing infrastructure; historic data as well as numerous other factors – will allow us to schedule preventative maintenance, will reduce service interruptions and will ultimately reduce the cost of energy. We look forward to seeing the transition of this new capability from research and development to production.”

SOURCE: PR Newswire