August 2015 - Marine Technology Reporter

MTR100: Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group (PART III)

By Greg Trauthwein

Kim Lehmann, President of the Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group and the Teledyne RESON Group, discusses with Marine Technology Reporter the driving trends in the subsea business and the impact on his specific group of companies.  

Advancing the business of working underwater is dependent on a number of interconnected technologies that must work together with ease and efficiency. Imaging, or the ability to more clearly ‘see’ underwater, is one area that has expanded leaps and bounds in quantity and quality in recent years, driven by organizations such as the Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group.

Meet the Group
“Inside the Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group we have Teledyne RESON, Teledyne BlueView, Teledyne Odom and the recently acquired Teledyne ATLAS Hydrographic,” said Lehmann.  “We do imagery and echosounding underwater,” looking and measuring with a sonar. “That’s the key principle of what we do; and then we have many other smaller niches in there, but when you look at our main deliverables, that’s what we do.”
The most recent addition to the group was ATLAS Hydrographic, an acquisition that adds breadth to the entire product line-up, as Lehmann explains.
“In August 2014 we acquired all the assets out of ATLAS Hydrographic, renaming it Teledyne ATLAS Hydrographic,” said Lehmann. “(With this acquisition) we strengthened our deep water capability and that means we can actually measure and map the sea floor from a surface vessel to the full ocean at 11,000 meter water depth.”
According to Lehmann full ocean depth capability is a necessity in today’s subsea market, particularly in the realm of marine and oceanographic research, as well as increased government investment in deep sea capabilities, used for example in the identification and extraction of natural resources and minerals and mapping of territorial waters.
Bremen based Teledyne ATLAS Hydrographic was a true industry pioneer. From the early 1920s, the forerunners of the company contributed sonar know-how to the service of marine science and the hydrographic mission supporting safety of navigation. Many key inventions are rooted on patents held by the company, such as the first dual-channel singlebeam echosounder installed on-board a seagoing vessel, the DESO, and the utilization of the parametric effect for sub-bottom profilers, the PARASOUND.
In recent years, Teledyne ATLAS Hydrographic has invested in implementing state-of-the-art features into its HYDROSWEEP and PARASOUND deepwater systems. Besides being used by international users from marine science, it is operated on all four German oceangoing research vessels including the brand new RV SONNE. Using the hull-mounted sub-bottom profiler it is possible to penetrate the seabed more than 200 meters in waters as deep as 11,000 meters; at the same time, the full water column can be imaged and recorded and sediment structures can be resolved down to 15 cm layers.
“The capability here is very strong,” said Lehmann. “That is a unique capability we are able to do with the Deepwater Echsounder and the sub-bottom parametric profiler, and you can (go to) full ocean depth, so you’re sampling the water column, you’re looking at the seafloor, and you are able to penetrate the sea floor up to 200 meters of depth to get an image of the seismic structures of what’s down there. That is truly very advances high-tech precision marine solutions.”

Tech Drivers
While the technology which allows users to see better in the underwater environment, Lehmann reckons that it is the integration of technologies with a variety of sensor inputs that is a driver today, and ultimately his group is working toward delivering not only raw data but actionable information based on customer need and demand.
“When we look at what’s driving our group, I would say it is technologies where we integrate solutions intelligently,” said Lehmann. “And all of that input is then turned into measureable information, which might be a fully computed map; it might be information on where you are able to find minerals; it might be how to navigate or how (and where) to dredge; it might be simulation of the most optimal port entry of your vessel.”
“When we integrate all of this information, then we are able to calibrate and optimize a workflow, so that you can optimize your operations.”
One of Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group main markets is the offshore market, and while offshore overall continues to struggle with low oil prices, Lehmann said it is a good market for the company as it’s not just about oil and gas.”
“When we look at the offshore market, it’s not just oil and gas, it’s also minerals, it’s renewable energy, it’s construction and subsea construction,” said Lehmann. In the case of Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group, the business proposition generally runs from project inception to completion, as they are there:
•    supporting them at the early stages, helping operators find out where to drill, build and construct at the seabed;
•    when companies construct subsea, helping them to understand exactly how to place equipment, pipelines and other constructions;
•    throughout the life of the system, helping them to own and operate equipment, helping them navigate the ROVs or AUVs and helping to ensure subsea facilities are maintained well;
•    when it comes to decommissioning, to understand exactly how you then take it apart and remove subsea assets in an environmental-friendly way.
But that’s really only one part of his business.
“Then there is  hydrography, our key segment and the biggest part of our business, which really has a lot of different businesses (within),” said Lehmann. From surveys of the sea floor to create maps to navigation, to port and harbor infrastructure to environmental protection, the possibilities are nearly endless. Just as important is the size of Lehmann’s hydrography toolbox, a set of capabilities that  has a multitude of tools, “from the low end of the market where you might need a single beam or smaller multibeam system to the high-end market were you need very high precision multibeam systems and sub-bottom profilers. Sea floor mapping, route surveys, ports and harbors, marine research, are some of the main elements inside hydrography. We service our customers with the complete solution; the multibeam echosounder and other needed underwater sensors, positioning and motion sensors, data acquisition and processing software and the engineered integration fitting your vessel.” The construction, civil engineering and dredge business are strong growth areas for Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group. On the dredge side, we offer comprehensive full solutions, from the positioning of critical equipment to exact monitoring of progress to ensure that the proper amount of material is dredged the first time. On the civil engineering front “we have a software solution called “Teledyne PDS”, and in PDS you can make an infrastructure modification or update of a harbor or a bridge, for example. “You can inspect it first to get precision data on the infrastructure. We offer solutions including LIDAR for the above water and multibeam echosounders for below the surface and merge real-time the data in highly accurate maps and construction images. This allows you to plan where you want to go and what you want to do. You can also use that for inspection, so you can inspect bridges and dams for example.” Perhaps the biggest advantage is the ability to ‘maximize the efficiency of the diver’s time in the water,’ meaning the use of advanced technology products can decrease the likelihood of dangerous situations. The diver can then be guided towards the spots underwater where the detailed inspection need to take place saving a tremendous amount of time and making the quality of the inspection much higher.
The last part of the Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group business is defense and security, where it offers a multitude of solutions with a variety of ranges aimed at a variety of vehicle platforms and capabilities. “This is an area where we see quite a lot of growth, as well; significant growth,” said Lehmann. We are very proud to be working with the top defense and security integrators as well as with the leading navies around the world.

Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group

Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group is a provider of advanced multibeam echosounder and other sonar solutions servicing a variety of markets and applications.   This group is comprised of the following Teledyne companies, all focused on providing leading-edge imaging solutions:

•    Teledyne ATLAS Hydrographic has contributed to marine science and safe navigation for nearly 100 years.  With its HYDROSWEEP multibeam echosounders and PARASOUND sub-bottom profilers, the company covers the core technologies of hydrographic instrumentation for deep water applications.

•    Teledyne BlueView
is a leader in 2D imaging and 3D scanning sonar technology. The company’s advanced sonar systems are currently deployed on AUVs, ROVs, surface vessels, fixed positions, portable platforms, and have been adopted by leading manufacturers and service providers to support mission-critical operations. 

•    Teledyne Odom Hydrographic has over 30 years’ experience manufacturing high performance sonar systems with a hard earned reputation for durability, precision and customer service. From portable dual frequency single beam echo sounders to fully integrated multibeam systems, Teledyne Odom Hydrographic has equipment to meet the most challenging demands. 

•    Teledyne RESON
is a leading provider of high-quality underwater acoustic solutions. With global presence and service-facilities, they specialise in the design, development, manufacture and commissioning of advanced multibeam sonar-systems, sensors, transducers, hydrophones and survey software. They operate in the hydrographic, offshore, dredging, defense & security and marine-research business areas. 
Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging has locations focused on multibeam echosounder and sonar technology including research & development, manufacturing, sales and after sales support at the sites in Denmark, USA, Holland, Germany, U.K and Shanghai. Furthermore it supports customers through a truly global sales network of distribution partners in more than 47 countries.
The group includes over 40 engineers and hydrographic surveyors dedicated to its Engineering Services team focused on providing close support to our multibeam echosounder and sonar customers, wherever they are and whatever the circumstances. The Engineering Services team operates out of service centers at six locations worldwide and it has extended the proximity to customers through a global network of local service partners.
The Teledyne Marine companies are deeply integrated and work closely to develop cutting edge solutions, such as Teledyne Benthos and Teledyne RESON collaborating to develop a deep tow system including a SeaBat 7125 Dual Head multibeam echosounder and a Teledyne RDI Doppler Velocity Log for Odyssey Marine Exploration. This vehicle, to be used for search missions down to 6,000m, is currently undergoing final sea trials.

The MTR100 is Marine Technology Reporter's Annual report on 100 leading companies in the subsea industry, published in the July/August 2015 edition of MTR -

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