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Agip North Caspian Oil Platform Adopts RTLS Technology

The company is installing a real-time location system from Ubisense and S3 ID to track the locations of approximately 1,000 staff members on its one-square-kilometer offshore rig.
By Claire Swedberg
Up to 1,000 staff members and vehicles on the D Island complex will be wearing or carrying battery-powered Ubisense Series 7000 personnel tags, each transmitting a 6 GHz to 8 GHz ultra-wideband (UWB) signal encoded with a unique ID number. The site is divided into six operational zones, each with its own S3 ID Location Event Engine Server (LEES) managing up to 256 readers. When the readers capture the ID number of a personnel tag, their Ubisense software will calculate that tag's location and forward that information to the server for their specific zone. The location data is then displayed on a series of connected computers, which will display icons indicating workers' locations.

Software supplied by S3 ID also enables management to determine which employees have reported to their assigned mustering stations, which ones have not done so, and where those who have not are located. An alert can then be issued to specific managers, in the event that a rescue may be deemed necessary. The software can provide reports regarding attendance, evacuations, the location of the nearest trained personnel for a special activity, and the location histories of personnel and vehicles. The system will trigger an alarm on the computers if someone enters an unauthorized zone.

Tags can be read at a range of up to 30 meters (98 feet), Gennard says, and can be used to identify the location of an individual or asset to within a meter. The location data is not only horizontal but vertical, thereby enabling the software to identify the floor and specific area at which a person is located.

If the technology works as intended, Agip KCO will be able to quickly locate personnel during an emergency, as well as ensure that all staff members leave a hazardous area safely. However, the software's reporting capabilities will also allow management to identify any problems involving mustering or other events requiring the movement of personnel, or to devise ways in which to make those events more efficient. The oil company has declined to comment for this story.

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