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Sauer Compressors UK Ltd.
“Sauer House”
Lanswood Park
Broomfield Road
Elmstead Market
Colchester, Essex
CO7 7FD / England

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Case Study

Compressors for seismic studies

In mid-December 2021, the Meyer-Fassmer-Spezialschiffbau (MFSB) bidding consortium was awarded the contract in a Europe-wide tender for the METEOR IV research vessel construction by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The bidding consortium consists of the German shipyards Meyer-Werft GmbH & Co. KG and Fr. Fassmer GmbH & Co. KG. The research vessel METEOR IV will among other tasks carry out seismic measurements, for which a high-pressure air system is required.

Seismic measurements are performed with SAUER 6000 series compressors: For this purpose, machines of the type SAUER WP6442 fill various high-pressure cylinders ("storage line") to 207 bar (3,000 psi line) via the "Air Management System". These are in turn connected to air pulsers, so-called "air guns". By means of an electrical contact, the air guns towed by the ship are triggered and send sound waves to the seafloor. The reflection or refraction is picked up by hydrophones also towed by the ship. These measurements are used to create 3D cutaway models that provide information on oceanic geology and geodynamics and from which, among other things, conclusions can be drawn about the composition of the Earth's crust and about seismic activity.

Another advantage is that a so-called ramp-up function is used to manually increase the pressure in stages in order to protect marine animals. In this application example, this function is automated via the Sauer ecc 4.0 compressor control system, so that manual interaction is no longer required.

Furthermore, the research vessel will be equipped by Sauer Compressors with starting and working air compressors as well as various accessories such as Sauer BasRack high-pressure cylinder racks and Sauer SRD compressed air dryers.

Other research vessels for which compressors for seismic measurements have been supplied include the FS Sonne and the Maria S. Merian.

Product line

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Order details

Markets: Offshore
Customers: Federal Ministry of Education and Research, MEYER Group
Customer country: Germany
Application: Seismic studies
Compression media: Air

Scope of supplies

Compressor type(s): 4x WP6442, 2x WP45L, 1x SC43
Accessories: Air management Module, bottle rack, dryers