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ID OCEAN is a specialized survey company focusing on coastal surveys, including surveys for ports and harbors. Headquartered in La Reunion, ID OCEAN has had the unique opportunity to survey waters as deep as 150m, thanks to the island’s specific geography.

La Nouvelle Route du Littoral (NRL) is a major project in La Reunion island and the surrounding Indian Ocean. The project consists in building a new highway, at sea, on the outskirts of the northwest of the island. This project will offer an alternative to the current road which is often closed either due to rock fall or because it is submerged by the sea. 5.4km of this new highway is built on a bridge, and 6.7km on a dyke, which stands on breakwaters.

ID OCEAN has been one of the main survey contractors for NRL for the last 4 years, which is a testimony to their expertise.

These breakwaters are monolayer precast concrete armor units that must be placed in a specific pattern (for example, each armor unit must have a certain number of points of contact with its neighbors).  Inspections must be undertaken during the construction to verify the correct placement of each unit, and overtime to monitor the potential shift of these armor pieces due to swell.

Traditional monitoring methods relied on subsea videos which are expensive, time-consuming and lack accuracy, as well as multibeam bathymetric point-clouds which can be hard to analyze for non-expert stakeholders.

In response, ID OCEAN developed Seabim®(1), an as-built digital twin algorithm that “can extract the position of a large number of blocks, based on the geo-referenced point-cloud data delivered by the multibeam, all in an automatic way,” explains Steven Le Bars, co-founder of ID OCEAN.

“Thanks to the high-quality bathymetric data delivered by the Sonic 2022, Seabim® returns information with a 99% automatic shape-matching score. This is an improvement from the 94-95% accuracy that we achieved with other multibeams … Furthermore, by automating the inspection process, we are removing the risks associated with sending divers and streamlining access to information.”

ID OCEAN acquired its Sonic 2022 at the end of 2020 with the objective of expanding internationally and offering an integrated package that includes data acquisition combined with data processing with the Seabim®.

“We were looking for a multibeam that was light, easy to mobilize and transport,” says Le Bars. “It also had to deliver high-quality bathymetric data. The better the data, the less time we have to spend cleaning it during post-processing, and the greater is the accuracy of the information provided by Seabim®,” continues Steven.

“The Sonic 2022 was a good compromise between compact form factor, resolution, swath coverage and quality of data. We had experience with other small multibeams, but none delivered the resolution that we needed. The Sonic 2022 provides excellent data.”

ID OCEAN created a customized mounting that includes the IMU, along with cameras that can fit in the R2Sonic PeliCase™, which is very convenient for international projects. “We have also standardized and optimized the pole with the other sensors so that it only takes us an hour to mobilize the Sonic 2022,” says Le Bars.

“The operation of the Sonic is simple and straightforward. It was easy to become familiar with it. We particularly like the ROBO™ mode, which we leverage on surveys that are not near-shore, and that may have significant variation in water depth,” says Le Bars.

The Sonic 2022 contributes to the quality of the information provided by the Seabim® by delivering extremely clean data, which also allows the ID OCEAN team to “speed up the data processing which has been instrumental for being price competitive.”

The launch of the innovative Seabim® combined with high-quality multibeam Sonic 2022, has helped position ID OCEAN as a reputable hydrographic survey company both regionally and, increasingly, internationally.

Based on the success of the Seabim® in surveying the NRL, ID OCEAN has already been awarded new projects with ports and harbors and is targeting new opportunities with marine construction and dredging companies.

“Although COVID has slowed down several projects, we expect to recover the investment of the Sonic 2022 within 24 months,” says Le Bars.

(1) Patent pending

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