ALTRAN TECHNOLOGIES : Altran supports Total towards the exploration of the future
|20 March 2019|
Altran supports Total
towards the exploration of the future
The METIS® project, developed by Total,
aims to revolutionize geophysical acquisition using automated drones
Altran, global leader in engineering and R&D services, has been active in the METIS® (Multiphysics Exploration Technology Integrated System) project. METIS® was launched by Total in 2014 as part of the "Earth Imaging" research program led by its Exploration & Production division.
The project aims to have an industrial-scale pilot operational in Papua New Guinea by 2021 for a large-scale seismic acquisition campaign covering an area of several dozen km². During this campaign, tens of thousands of DARTs® will be safely deployed with a fleet of more than 25 drones.
The METIS® project develops methodologies and new technologies to improve the quality of 3D images of the subsoil in increasingly complex geological contexts, particularly for difficult-to-access on-shore areas. METIS® relies on drones and wireless seismic sensors known as DARTs® (Downfall Air Receiver Technology) to obtain high-quality images of the subsurface in real time, while reducing both costs and risks. Once fully developed, METIS® will be able to operate in various environments: jungle areas, mountainous foothills with sparse vegetation, as well as in desert areas.
As part of a consortium with Scalian©, Altran is specifically in charge of designing and integrating the sensor deployment system, made up of a fleet of five drones and a ground control station. This completely autonomous fleet is designed to deployment over 400 sensors per km² per day.
Altran is also responsible for safety-related issues, both in the air and on the ground. This is quite a challenge in a regulatory framework that has yet to be defined. Experts are thus in continuous contact with several aeronautic regulatory bodies such as EASA (Europe), DGAC (France), ENAC (Italy), GCAA (United Arab Emirates), in particular to request flight authorizations for the various tests planned.
Finally, Altran's Ukraine-based teams are in charge of developing the ground control station, a veritable nerve center for the drone system governing all critical orders in the fleet.
To develop the drone fleet, Altran's project team and Total are leading an international team (France / Italy / Ukraine and United Arab Emirates) and coordinating relations with the various project partners: principally Scalian (UAVs, FR), as well as SAExploration (Seismic Operations, USA), Wireless Seismic (Seismic Sensors, USA), RPS (UAV Operations, UK) and ISS (UAVs, UK).
Pascal Brier, Executive Vice-President for Strategy, Technology and Innovation of Altran, stated: "Altran is proud to be guiding Total for this ambitious project, developing cutting-edge expertise to help the oil industry meet the challenges of the energy transition. Altran's mastery of robotics, artificial intelligence and connected objects, as well as its role as architect and integrator of DART® sensor deployment systems will contribute to the development of the very first fleet of industrial drones, thus reducing human intervention on the ground and the environmental footprint of exploration while providing significant cost savings."
Altran ranks as the undisputed global leader in Engineering and R&D services (ER&D). The company offers clients an unmatched value proposition to address their transformation and innovation needs. Altran works alongside its clients, from initial concept through industrialization, to invent the products and services of tomorrow. For over 35 years, the company has provided expertise in Automotive, Aeronautics, Space, Defense & Naval, Rail, Infra & Transport, Energy, Industrial & Consumer, Life Sciences, Communications, Semiconductor & Electronics, Software & Internet, Finance & Public Sector. The Aricent acquisition extends this leadership to semiconductor, digital experience and design innovation. Altran generated revenues of €2.9 billion in 2018, with some 47,000 employees in more than 30 countries.
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