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1. WO2011010932 - CONTROL DEVICE FOR POSITIONING AN INSTRUMENTED CABLE TOWED IN WATER

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[ EN ]

Claims

1. Control device (10, 50) for controlling the position of an instrumented cable towed in water, such as a marine seismic streamer, and/or an instrumented towed cable array (streamer array) with the possibility of controlling the individual instrumented cables both with in shape and position in relation to other instrumented cables and by that counteract cross currents and/or other dynamic forces which affect a towed array behind a seismic survey vessel, which control device (10, 50) includes a main body (12, 53), wings (11, 52), connection means (14a-b) for mechanical and electrical connection of the control device (10, 50) in series between two adjacent sections of an instrumented cable, and drive means for controlling the respective angular position of the wings (11, 52) to control the lateral and vertical position of the instrumented cable, characterized in that the control device (10, 50) is provided with one or more acoustic means, such as acoustic transmitter/receiver elements (40), arranged to or integrated in one or more of the wings (11, 52) of the control device.

2. Control device according to claim 1, characterized in that the control device (10, 50) also includes one or more acoustic means, such as acoustic transmitter/receiver elements (40), arranged to or integrated within the main body (12, 53) of the control device or arranged to or integrated in detachable motor and drive gear housings (51).

3. Control device according to claim 1, characterized in that the wings (11) are adapted for electrical connection and signal connection to the adapted main body (12), or that the wings (11) and the main body (10) are provided with means (110) for wireless/contact-less transmission of energy and/or communication (signals/data) for transmission from main body (10) to wing (11), wing (11) to main body (10) or both ways, or that the motor and drive gear housings (51) of the control device are adapted for electrical connection and signal connection to the main body (53).

4. Control device according to claim 1, characterized in that the acoustic transmitter/receiver elements (40) are arranged to transmit acoustic signals/pulses in one or two directions.

5. Control device according to claim 1, characterized in that the acoustic transmitter/receiver elements (40) are directionally controllable, and have sensitivity along the instrumented cable to enable measurements along the instrumented cable.

6. Control device according to claim 1, characterized in that the transmitter/receiver elements (40) are arranged to transmit and receive broadband signals, such as DSSS signals ("DSSS - Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum"), which signals being specially designed to provide high auto correlation of the signal sequences to be detected, and low cross correlation properties against other sequences.

7. Control device according to claim 1, characterized in that the transmitter/receiver elements (40) are arranged to both transmit and receive signals/pulses.

8. Control device according to claim 1, characterized in that the control device (10) is provided with communication means, such as a transponder circuit card (150), for communicating between an external control system, such as APOS, and the transmitter/receiver elements (40).

9. Control device according to claim 8, characterized in that the transponder circuit card (150) is connected to the transmitter/receiver elements (40) and a control line and energy line of the instrumented cable, either directly through mechanical connections of the control device (10, 50) or through means (110) for wireless/contact-less transmission of communication and/or energy the control device (10).

10. Control device according to claim 8, characterized in that the transponder circuit card (150) is arranged to be commanded to transmit and/or listen.

11. Control device according to claim 8, characterized in that the transponder circuit card (150) includes three units/cards:

- a digital processing card (151) for encoding of signals and controlling when the

transmitter/receiver elements (40) are to transmit and/or receive, signal processing, such as filtering and decoding of signals, including communication with an external control system such as APOS,

- a transmitter card (152) for DA conversion of control signal and excitation on the

transmitter/receiver element (40), and

- a receiver card (153) for amplification and AD conversion of received signal on the

transmitter/receiver element (40).

12. Control device according to claim 1, characterized in that the transmitter/receiver element (40) is designed like a "sandwich" element with a fastening point in the middle of an active

element and a "head" in each direction, or that the transmitter/receiver element (40) is designed as an active element of "composite" type casted in a suitable plastic material.

13. Control device according to claim 1, characterized in that the transmitter/receiver element (40) is arranged in a protective housing (41), which housing (41) being adapted to be arranged in the wing (ll)/wing part (20) of the control device (10), which control device (10) for this is provided with protruding elements (42) at each side of the wing part (20), which protruding elements (42) being provided with through holes being adapted to the housing (41) for fixed arrangement of the transmitter/receiver element (40) via its housing (41) therein.