The principle of operation is based on the fact that modern pipe in pipe oil transport systems, with alternating concentric layers of pipes, insulation and armour are, in electronic terms, co-axial conductors capable of carrying high-frequency electromagn eti signals. The SEADEC apparatus injects such a high frequency signal at the terminus of a pipeline system, which then propagates along its entire length, up to hundreds of kilometres in many cases. This high frequency signal however is modulated by a low-frequency carrier wave envelope. When a breach occurs in a the outmost mantling of a pipeline system such that water can enter, corrosion inevitably follows, in months or even years later and great damage can our before detection becomes possible. Ho wever, such a breach which admits water would also let the injected electromagnetic signal to escape.
Seawater contains is a partial conductor and high frequency electromagnetic signals rapidly become attenuated but the low frequency envelope does pass, (essentially the sea water is a low pass filter) and the lower the frequency the further the distance the electrical signal travels in sea water.
As the NDT equipment market in Europe for NDT hardware alone (minus NDT services) is approximately Euro 250 million then to achieve at least 7% penetration equivalent to Euro 20 million per year, a cost mark up of 100% and an initial selling price of Euro 300K for a complete system which contains hard and software subsea leakage detection via AUV and ROV sh ould readily achieve a target of 60 units per year. If up to 20 companies are granted licenses and sub licenses to also be involved in production then this target should be easily achieved.
SolidTech, will own the rights to sell the final integrated syst em and will through the project expand their market both through selling equipment and increasing sales of NDT services to the oil/gas market.