Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sub sea instruments

CAN in Automation (CiA) has released the second version of the CiA 443 CANopen profile for sub-sea instruments. Sub-sea is a term frequently used to refer to equipment, technology, and methods employed to explore, drill, and develop oil and gas fields that exist below the seabed. Sub-sea instruments are connected to a host controller, which is linked to the offshore platform. For the communication between host-controller and instruments, the SIIS (sub-sea instrument interface system) group has develop in co-operation with CiA the CiA 443 profile, which describes the CANopen communication. The standardized interface covers pressure, temperature, and positioning sensors as well as more complex instruments such as multi-phase flow, wet-gas, sand, and water-cut meters. The profile also includes descriptions for vibration and oil/gas monitors as well as corrosion/erosion and acoustic sensors. In addition, the CANopen interface for chemical injection valves (CIV) is standardized.

Last year, the suppliers have tested their host controllers and instruments in the first SIIS plug-fest for CiA 443 compliant devices. The experiences and results were introduced into the version 2.0, which is partly incompatible to version 1.0. The first Christmas trees (nickname for the sub-sea instrument clusters) compliant to CiA 443 version 2.0 will be installed very soon. They are available in either vertical or horizontal configurations. Those trees may range in size and weight from a few tons to approximately 70 tons. The communication between the offshore platform and the Christmas trees is often based on ModbusTCP or other Ethernet-based networks implementing the CiA 309 protocol to configure and diagnosis the sub-sea tree devices.

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