Deepwater Technology: Shape-sensing mat gives real-time load, fatigue data on deepwater risers ///

The drive to develop deeper fields, coupled with environmental, legislative and financial expediency, has led to an increasing need to monitor loads in real time and track the load histories of deepwater risers and flowlines. The demands of deep, extended subsea operations have challenged conventional strain gauging. Practical difficulties of bonding and protecting strain gauges, plus ongoing calibration issues, have restricted development of structural health monitoring technologies. Alternative techniques based on interpretation of second-order effects that can be more readily measured (e.g. accelerometers and inclinometers) have been preferred. Fiber optic-based measurement offers substantial advantages over historic strain gauges. Although relatively novel, the technology has matured through the Telecom industry. The fiber optic sensor is extremely sensitive, provides absolute data (no repeated calibrations required), is immune to electromagnetic radiation, is unaffected by pressure and water, and is intrinsically safe.

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