Fleet Manoeuvres

Quest Geo Solutions Ltd: A Sercel Company
Sentinel ER450 UHF radio modem
Oil & gas offshore surveying
Industry / Vertical:


Based in the UK, Quest Geo Solutions Ltd is a division of the Sercel Group of Companies and a software specialist in navigation and positioning, helping companies use seismic survey techniques to support oil and gas exploration at sea.

Seismic survey uses sound waves to measure changes in the density of rocks below the sea. Vessels fire high-pressure compressed-air explosions at the sea bed. Other vessels or buoys then record the sound reflection as it bounces off the surfaces beneath the sea. This data is used to interpret changes in rock strata and identify potential oil and gas deposits.

In order for the information gained to have value, it is critical that the passage of positioning data radioed between vessels/buoys is tightly controlled. But the nature of the vessels and the movement of the wave tops causes the radio signal to be reflected in a constantly changing pattern. This leads to potential destructive interference effects, especially over long transmission distances.


Quest’s TriggerFish™ system is a real-time seismic navigation and source synchronisation system requiring a robust and reliable radio communications network to link the flotilla of buoys and vessels required for seabed surveying. TriggerFish employs Wood & Douglas’ narrowband Sentinel ER450 UHF radio modem to both monitor and send supervisory commands. The radio is housed in a compact, rugged die-cast enclosure.

Quest believes reliable communications should be practical at a distance of 20km, extending to 25km as survey areas increase in scale to meet demands. The Sentinel ER450’s RF output is more than powerful enough to transmit and receive regular, reliable telemetry at distances of up to 50km at sea.


“We took the decision to use the Sentinel ER450 based upon Wood & Douglas’ experience and the quality of the radio. Its performance has proven to be very good indeed, it is not about power, rather it is about how efficiently the radio operates, even with limited line of sight.”

Timur Sanerkin, Navigation Product Manager, Quest Geo Solutions Ltd

Control and monitoring of ships’ movements at sea

Transfer of timing messages from seismic sources

Data management and monitoring



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