A-2-Sea is Changing the Subsea Cable Industry

A-2-Sea Solutions has announced the launch of DRAX, the world’s first automated x-ray camera system for inspecting submarine cable joints.

A-2-Sea Solutions has announced the launch of DRAX, the world's first automated x-ray camera system for inspecting submarine cable joints.A-2-Sea Press Release
July 18, 2022

The system is the result of two years of research and development by A-2-Sea Solutions, in collaboration with leading submarine cable manufacturers. DRAX uses state-of-the-art x-ray imaging technology to provide a high-quality, 3D view of the cable joint. The fully automated system is designed to significantly reduce inspection times, from hours to minutes, while also eliminating the need for film and related hazardous waste.

“This is a game-changing technology for the submarine cable industry,” said A-2-Sea Solutions Technical Director, Andrew Levins.

“DRAX has the potential to redefine productivity in this sector. With traditional analogue techniques, each joint inspection can take up to four hours, as it takes time for the film to develop and assessments to be made.

On-site, this can often mean that a vessel has to remain on standby for an extended period, waiting for the all-clear from the inspection team. In a cable manufacturing environment, inspection delays can result in production line stoppages.”

A-2-Sea’s system eliminates these time constraints by providing real-time digital images that can be viewed on a laptop or tablet computer.

This enables an assessment to be made immediately without the need for preparing or developing a film. In addition, high-resolution digital images are automatically stored for later retrieval and analysis. DRAX also helps to address the issue of hazardous waste associated with traditional film-based inspection methods. With DRAX, there is no need for film, chemicals or other consumables, so there is no hazardous waste to dispose of. This is not only better for the environment, but it also reduces costs, the need for specialised waste disposal facilities and satisfies every tightening regulations.

Various features have been designed to accelerate the inspection process, improve accuracy and enhance the user experience.

Fully automated, the system eliminates the need for manual rotations and user interaction.

DRAX provides a future-proofed solution as it can be easily modified and upgraded to adapt to diverse and emerging cable technologies. Bespoke profiles, which include joint specific inspection tools, can be developed to meet the specific requirements of individual customers.

Designed for performance in offshore, terrestrial and in factory environments, digital recordings of inspections can be easily shared between the ship and onshore teams, thanks to the camera’s use of universal standard digital formats.

“This is an exciting time for A-2-Sea Solutions,” said Managing Director, Ross Taylor. “DRAX represents the culmination of our efforts to develop innovative solutions that make a real difference to our clients.”