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Route Survey

A survey verifies a cable route’s suitability, and gathers the additional detailed information required to undertake the final route engineering.

Ensuring a route's suitability and gathering comprehensive subsea data

A dedicated marine and land survey along the route corridor is used to validate the route and to gather the detailed information which enables the final route engineering to be undertaken. The route selected for survey is an output of the earlier Desk Top Study stage.

Defining the nature and topology of the seabed to ensure a cables integrity for the long-run

Using the most advanced techniques and equipment, the marine survey typically uses geophysical tools such as echosounders, sonar, sub-bottom profilers, and magnetometers, combined with geotechnical sampling to provide a comprehensive set of data which is charted and incorporated into our cable routing GIS software.

We increasingly use aerial drones and other unmanned platforms such as AUVs and ASV’s which can bring cost and technical advantages whilst lowering the survey’s carbon footprint too.

The survey data is interpreted and used to refine the cable route within the survey corridor. We complete burial assessments which help determine the best burial tools and cable protection measures for the system, combined with the knowledge gained from the Desktop Study on the likely sources and nature of risks to the cable.

On-site OceanIQ® survey representatives ensure the survey works meet the survey specification, to undertake in field routing decisions and engineering when required.

Depending on the hazard and risk levels there is sometimes a need to include a UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) survey at the marine survey stage and OceaniQ® have successfully completed UXO surveys for several projects in recent years.

Better understanding of subsea environments for fibre optic and power cable installations

Pentland Firth, Scotland – survey works for new power cable installation

Our survey contractors used an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ‘drone’ and an Autonomous Surface Vessel (ASV). OceaniQ’s® adoption of this innovative solution meant a diver swim survey was not needed and this reduced the health and safety risk to the project and improved the resulting survey deliverables ahead of a new cable installation.

BT Scotland N.Ireland 3 & 4 – management of the cable route survey, burial assessment and UXO survey for 2 cables connecting the west coast of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

OceaniQ® completed this survey across a very challenging marine seabed environment. Through our careful approach to UXO risk management we successfully achieved a safe route through the Beaufort Dyke UXO dumping ground whilst ensuring the cable was installable, secure and maintainable over its design life. UXO gradiometer arrays were used along with visual surveys to overcome the UXO risks offshore. On land we used UXO drones to achieve full coverage over the intertidal area. Our careful specification of the survey allowed us to complete a very detailed boulder assessment to maximise the burial along the route which a more conventional survey spec would not have achieved.

Tampnet projects, North Sea cable route surveys and burial assessments for over 200km of inter-platform oil and gas connections

These surveys across multiple projects with Tampnet enable high bandwidth communications to major oil and gas operators on their offshore platforms and serve as the backbone for Tampnet’s 4G telecoms network in the North Sea. Our work in designing the survey specification, management and delivery of the surveys made sure the existing Oil and Gas infrastructure was accurately mapped. Our decision to include ROVs meant that the pipeline and other cables could be surveyed in additional detail so that safe and acceptable crossings designs could be engineered without additional work being needed.

Why choose OceanIQ?
Read our latest Route Survey case study with customer Xlinks.

“Xlinks chose OceanIQ to support us on our subsea routing research and LPA primarily due to their reputation and experienced team. For a project as ground-breaking and complex as the Morocco – UK Power Project, it’s vital that we work with partners who can deliver to our exacting standards,” Richard Hardy, Project Director at Xlinks.

Meet the Team

Stuart Wilson

Route Engineering and Survey Manager

Stuart Wilson

Route Engineering and Survey Manager

Stuart has almost 20 years of experience with Global Marine Group. He is an expert in cable route engineering, and runs the company’s internal training courses in desk top study, survey, route engineering, installation and maintenance considerations, and route engineering for offshore renewables and telecommunications.

Stuart’s career highlights include the project management of a 199km telecoms cable installation project linking Sovetskaya Gavan, Russia and linskij on Sakhalin Island across the gulf of Tartary and producing desk top studies or many leading worldwide submarine cable operators such as BT, Hibernia Atlantic, Cable and Wireless, and Reliance Globalcom.

Douglas Gray

Project Manager

Douglas Gray

Project Manager

Cherri-Ann Bones

Survey & Route Engineer

Cherri-Ann Bones

Survey & Route Engineer

Cherri joined the Global Marine Group in November 2020. Her primary responsibilities include reviewing survey data, survey and route engineering and assisting with burial and installation methodologies.

When undertaking survey and cable route engineering, Cherri particularly focuses on the hydrographic, geophysical and geotechnical data alongside an analysis of seabed hazards; items of potential UXO (pUXO) and seabed currents to engineer the optimum cable route for each project. Cable burial and on bottom stability assessments allow further engineering to produce final routes.

Cherri’s previous experience includes 15 years in the analysis of marine geophysical survey and engineering geology as a Geoscience Principal for a well-known marine survey company.

Key Stats

Delivered Surveys for 18 projects over a total of 2,146km in the last 10 years

99km of power cables and 2047km of telecoms

Surveyed 168 landing points across all surveys in last 10 years


Take a look at our other Cable Route Planning Services

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Posted: 10/12/2020

Technical Insight: Boulder Clearance Strategy at Danish Kriegers Flak Offshore Wind Farm – by Francis Dick

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Posted: 01/12/2020

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Posted: 17/11/2020

Route Engineering: Planning for all eventualities

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OceanIQ Brand Logo
Posted: 21/09/2020

Global Marine Group Launches OceanIQ Consultancy Business – utilising rich subsea data

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Posted: 18/09/2020

We’re growing our team

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Posted: 08/09/2020

Global Marine Awarded Desk Top Study for Singapore India Gateway Cable System

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Posted: 18/08/2020

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Group Annual Awards 2020

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Posted: 10/07/2020

Work commences on SSEN’s Pentland Firth East cable replacement project

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Posted: 23/06/2020

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Posted: 23/06/2020

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Posted: 02/03/2020

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Posted: 30/09/2019

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