Hydrason: Real-Time Sonar Subsea Health Monitoring

Enabling faster, more accurate subsea asset monitoring

Published 21 June 2018 Last updated 4 November 2020


ORE Catapult’s unique subsea testing facilities enabled Edinburgh-based Hydrason Solutions Ltd. to undertake a representative programme of testing and successfully complete trials of their innovative condition monitoring technology.

Health monitoring of critical subsea assets in the field is an essential practice in order to identify issues as early as possible to optimise offshore wind farm operation and avoid high-cost maintenance offshore.

In response, Hydrason has developed an autonomous version of their low-frequency sonar, which is based on dolphin echolocation (‘ultra-wideband sonar’). The technology, known as ‘BioSonar’, is deployed using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and provides real-time survey feedback to operators, enabling a much faster response to potential issues.

Working with ORE Catapult, Hydrason developed a full-scale test programme for their technology, including the burying of pipes, submersion of subsea cables and deployment of an autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) in a controlled, representative subsea environment.

Hydrason’s technology was originally developed for pipeline inspection in the oil and gas industry, however, the company now has its sights set on developing the system for use in offshore renewable energy cable tracking and condition monitoring. Subsea cables present an even bigger challenge as they contain more complex, multi-layer structures.

As part of the Holistic Operation and Maintenance for Energy from Offshore Wind Farms (HOME-Offshore) project, of which ORE Catapult is part, Hydrason will develop their technology further to provide accurate surveying of buried cables and their components, improving monitoring and better informing the causes and consequences of failures.

The project management and support team at the ORE Catapult were great to work with and were responsive to all of our needs on site.


Developing UK SME innovation to support revenue and growth potential in offshore wind for Hydrason Solutions.
Supporting the transition of client technology and expertise from oil and gas into offshore renewable energy.
Reducing O&M costs in the offshore renewable energy supply chain with new autonomous, robotic solutions for industry.

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