Student of ASU Launches Underwater Robot into Caspian Sea
Nikolay Svischev currently covering a master program at Astrakhan State University has taken part in an expedition of the Aquaspecservice Company to the Caspian Sea. Together with specialists in underwater work, he explored oil wells by applying an underwater device.
The customer of the survey is the LUKOIL Company. Over 2.5 weeks of open-sea works, the team has explored 40 points; divers and remote control devices went 5 to 45 meters deep. The specialists have checked oil wells for gas leakage and performed a completed analysis of what is happening under water. Even though they had the GNOM remote-control unit, people did the main part of work.
“Our group of five divers went under water with devices to take soil samples. It’s quite easy to do that at 5 meters deep, while 45 meters is already a problem. We have just three minutes there. We have to spare a lot of air at such a depth, so we need to plan and take risks”, Nikolay says.
He points out that the main goal for the Aquaspecservice Company is to upgrade the underwater device, so that it could substitute people involved in underwater works.
To tackle this task, management of the company invited Nikolay, who has been involved in innovations in the field of robotics and made his own variant of an underwater robot. He applied the GNOM in the Caspian Sea to identify diving points and conduct the primary survey; at the same time, he developed various enhancement options. The manufactured device will be upgraded with a number of new options, in particular, with a drilling unit. Afterwards, the existing robot will be a base for an enhanced model that will substitute divers.
To get a clear vision and obtain additional skills, Nikolay completed professional diving courses. He is going to apply his knowledge in practice when the next expedition starts.
“I wish I dived myself and learnt what it is to dive”, he says, “If you watch a video how divers work, that’s one pair of shoes. If you did that yourself, that’s another matter. I dived in a swimming pool; that’s ab absolutely new experience; you have to carry much equipment that weigh up to 30 kg”.
Nikolay’s next trip will be already in late September. This time it was be on board a sail catamaran not far from the Caspian seashores.