Unmanned, shallow water pipeline survey – Trinidad & Tobago

Project details


Guayaguayare Bay, Trinidad & Tobago



Key Deliverables

Establish the current stability and condition of the pipeline, including signs of lateral movement, upheaval bucking, exposure zones, and indications of possible damage.

Project Challenge

How do you carry out a shallow water survey when there are no jetties/docks nearby with minimal impact to the environment and no risk to staff?



Our client requested a survey of their 3” 450m long pipeline, including a 50m corridor on each side, which runs from an onshore terminal facility out into Guayaguayare Bay, in Trinidad & Tobago.

Sulmara proposed the WAM-V 16 USV as an ideal solution to work in the shallow waters as the outboard is situated 2ft below the water surface and has the option to deploy from a beach.  Powered by six Lithium-Ion Torqeedo batteries and propelled by two 2.0 Cruise Torqeedo outboards the WAM-V 16 has the capability to handle the sensors required for a project of this nature.

The suspension technology connecting the payload bay to the pontoons allows the system to articulate and keep the retractable sensor mount (RSM) and payload stable. Along with a GPS positioning system, we integrated three required payload sensors to the USV.



One spare is never enough!  When the motors of the USV started to register water ingress, Sulmara responded immediately with technology partner MAR, shipping a replacement motor overnight and Sulmara personnel escorting it to the site in double quick time.

For the long-term, our launch and recovery procedures have been updated & shared internally along with learnings on the battery water sensors.

Our commitment to delivering for our customers is baked into our procedures and we improve each and every time we deploy.



Deploying the WAM-V 16 eliminated the need for a full traditional offshore team and vessel.  Eliminating risk to offshore personnel, reducing the project’s carbon footprint whilst delivering the survey data the client needed to assess their next steps.