The French-Dutch-Norwegian start-up company EATOPS provides advanced tools and systems to monitor remote gas and oil offshore installations. The initial target groups are members of the oil & gas industry with fields and offshore platforms in the North Sea.
The Remote Intuitive Visual Operations (RIVOPS) solution is based upon a monitoring and control technology and methodology used by ESA in its satellite control centre at ESOC. The system uses innovative monitoring concepts and advanced graphical display functions to support the operators responsible for the functioning and safety of the oil platforms.
Project: Remote Intuitive Visual Operations (RIVOPS)
RIVOPS is a monitoring and graphical user interface system that provides an intelligent overview of a large number of oil & gas installations in operations. The system is based upon research into ergonomics, which has shown significant results in spacecraft monitoring.
The concept is to collect the parameters to be monitored from remote installations and group them into clusters; the status monitoring is then performed on the clusters. When one or more parameters in a cluster go out of range, this is shown on a large monitor in tri-dimensional colour displays, in such a way that the operator can easily determine the severity of the situation. When an alarm is presented in a cluster, the operator can also zoom into the component issuing the alarm to obtain more information about the situation.
From space to industry
Alexandre Van Damme, the co-inventor of RIVOPS, has more than seven years experience in the aerospace industry. He used this experience to adapt the systems used for spacecraft control to the RIVOPS system for use in non-space industries.
The system uses techniques and methodologies that have proven successful in controlling spacecraft. At ESA the concept of grouping parameters into major clusters, which are then monitored, enables those responsible for monitoring spacecraft to handle and continuously monitor a large amount of parameters.
For instance for Envisat, one of Europe’s largest satellite, operators have to continuously monitor 20 000 parameters, a number comparable to that of an offshore oil and gas company in the North Sea.
Another innovative technology is the use of tri-dimensional representation to present the status of the parameters. Again, the technology developed for spacecraft control has been transferred to RIVOPS and enhanced with a whole range of specific features designed specifically for offshore rigs.
ESA Business Incubation
Alexandre Van Damme is the co-founder of EATOPS. The company is hosted at ESA's Business Incubator in ESTEC, the Netherlands and Van Damme receives support from ESA engineers to develop his system as well as rigorous testing to reach a certified product.
Van Damme also worked with ESA's flight controllers, as well as oil and gas control centres, to carry out his research into software ergonomics. ESA’s Business Incubator provides support in a number of other important areas important for entrepreneurs setting up a company, such as management coaching, the provision of office space and contacts to private investors.
EATOPS is being hosted at the ESA Business Incubation centre at ESTEC from March 2007 to March 2009.
Alexandre Van Damme, Inventor
Alexandre Van Damme
email: info @ eatops.com
EATOPS IPR(Intellectual Property Rights) Office
21 rue du Faubourg du Temple
Tel/Fax: +33 951 754 128
EATOPS R&D (Research & Development) Office
European Space Research and Technology Centre
ESTEC - TEC/ST P.O.Box 299, Keplerlaan 1 NL-2201 AZ Noordwijk
Tel: +31 71 565 6208
Fax: +31 71 565 6635
Last update: 22 December 2010