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Capgemini Engineering supports Total towards the exploration of the future

The METIS® project, developed by Total, aims to revolutionise geophysical acquisition using automated drones

Capgemini Engineering, global leader in engineering and R&D services, has been active in the METIS® (Multiphysics Exploration Technology Integrated System) project. METIS® was launched by Total in 2014 as part of the “Earth Imaging” research programme led by its Exploration & Production division.

The project aims to have an industrial-scale pilot operational in Papua New Guinea by 2021 for a large-scale seismic acquisition campaign covering an area of several dozen km². During this campaign, tens of thousands of DARTs® will be safely deployed with a fleet of more than 25 drones.

The METIS® project develops methodologies and new technologies to improve the quality of 3D images of the subsoil in increasingly complex geological contexts, particularly for difficult-to-access on-shore areas. METIS® relies on drones and wireless seismic sensors known as DARTs® (Downfall Air Receiver Technology) to obtain high-quality images of the subsurface in real time, while reducing both costs and risks. Once fully developed, METIS® will be able to operate in various environments: jungle areas, mountainous foothills with sparse vegetation, as well as in desert areas.

As part of a consortium with Scalian©, Capgemini Engineering is specifically in charge of designing and integrating the sensor deployment system, made up of a fleet of five drones and a ground control station. This completely autonomous fleet is designed to deployment over 400 sensors per km² per day.

Capgemini Engineering is also responsible for safety-related issues, both in the air and on the ground. This is quite a challenge in a regulatory framework that has yet to be defined. Experts are thus in continuous contact with several aeronautic regulatory bodies such as EASA (Europe), DGAC (France), ENAC (Italy), GCAA (United Arab Emirates), in particular to request flight authorisations for the various tests planned.

Finally, Capgemini Engineering’s Ukraine-based teams are in charge of developing the ground control station, a veritable nerve centre for the drone system governing all critical orders in the fleet.

To develop the drone fleet, Capgemini Engineering ’s project team and Total are leading an international team (France / Italy / Ukraine and United Arab Emirates) and coordinating relations with the various project partners: principally Scalian (UAVs, FR), as well as SAExploration (Seismic Operations, USA), Wireless Seismic (Seismic Sensors, USA), RPS (UAV Operations, UK) and ISS (UAVs, UK).

“Capgemini Engineering is proud to be guiding Total for this ambitious project, developing cutting-edge expertise to help the oil industry meet the challenges of the energy transition. Capgemini Engineering’s mastery of robotics, artificial intelligence and connected objects, as well as its role as architect and integrator of DART® sensor deployment systems will contribute to the development of the very first fleet of industrial drones, thus reducing human intervention on the ground and the environmental footprint of exploration while providing significant cost savings”

Executive Vice-President for Strategy, Technology and Innovation of Capgemini Engineering

This was first published on Capgemini Engineering website.