Afternoon Sessions

Single beam versus Multibeam sonar technology
Instructor: Mark Atherton – Mesotech

Session Description: 
Acoustics expert and accomplished author Mark Atherton will present the basics of sound propagation underwater through to imaging techniques with various methods of beam forming and data capture.  This presentation focuses on the basics of sonar image generation and interpretation with many real-world image captures through years of fieldwork.  The discussion will drill down into images generated through side scan sonar capture (vehicle-mounted or towed transducers), mechanically-scanning sonar capture (vehicle mounted or tripod) and essentials of multibeam sonar imaging techniques.

Mark Atherton Bio: With a background in commercial explosives and diving, underwater photography and sonar, Atherton worked for and came to manage the Offshore Survey Division of CAN-DIVE Services Ltd., an internationally affiliated, commercial diving company in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The job took him worldwide for 16 years on a diversity of undersea challenges. WWII bomb recovery in Trinidad, deep-water pipeline route surveys, cable-lay operations, locating and recovering aircraft, ships and bodies, and working on underwater television and movie documentaries were all part of the business. In 1991, Atherton was asked to join Simrad Mesotech Ltd. (now Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd.) where he remains involved in all aspects of sonar system development, testing, applications, operations and another passion—teaching operational underwater acoustics.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Technology for Offshore Oil & Gas
Instructors: R. George Rey Sr. – COTS Technologies, John Ferguson - Saxon Remote Systems, LLC, and Mert Pellegrin - Aviation Management, Inc. 

Session Description:
UAV technology is accelerating rapidly due to both technological innovations as well as a vastly changing regulatory landscape within the US National as well as International Airspace Systems.  This tutorial will focus equally on both aspects of changes enabling this technology to be adapted to the oil & gas industry.  Within this discussion will be presentations by recognized experts on the current initiatives coming from both the FAA as well as the ICAO for both onshore and offshore applications of UAVs.  The balance of this tutorial will focus upon new innovations in both vehicle and sensor technologies.  The attendee will come away from this session with a basic understanding of the underlying issues involved with standing up a UAV program within his or her organization.

R. George Rey Sr. Bio: Lieutenant Commander Rey retired from the U.S. Navy after completing 33 years of active duty in the United States Navy’s Submarine Service. During that period he served on 5 submarines, 3 major staffs, and two tours in the Pentagon. He started COTS Technology, a consulting company, supporting industry, academic, and government entities in operational and research endeavors with a focus on Robotic systems. Commander Rey was a key member that development and implemented Tulane University’s Long-term Estuary Assessment Group (LEAG) developing biosensors for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. Commander Rey’s most recent activities established the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program at Nicholls State University’s Geomatics’ program. This program was the first in Louisiana to receive an FAA approved Certificate Of waiver Authorization (COA) to fly in the National Air Space (NAS). He established a Special Interest Group (SIG) for the FBI’s INFRAGARD Louisiana chapter and leads this group as the UAS SIG (Special Inte est Group) Sector Chief. Moreover, two years ago, he established the Louisiana Pelican Chapter of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and Leads this statewide organization as the founding president. Commander Rey continues to work with companies to develop their UAS programs that meet the FAA’s Part 107 requirements.

John Ferguson Bio: John Ferguson has more than 25 years of experience in the field of remote system technology subsea. Ferguson is a former US Marine and Gulf War veteran, commercial diver and ROV Pilot who has taken Saxon Remote Systems global. He holds two provisional patents pending on remote technology and is the author of the Kansas UAS (SkyCentral) training manual.   Ferguson has traveled to over 70 countries around the world sharing the knowledge and fostering new technologies and immersing himself in to the local culture.  Ferguson is an expert communicator, public speaker and true leader.  Ferguson started his career in ROV technology working for Margus out of Edison N.J. assisting ROV pilots in the subsea fiber cable industry.  Over the years, Ferguson had worked his way up to Supervisor, Project Manager, Country Manager and ultimately his own ROV company with eight systems.  After the decline of the Oil & Gas market in 2013, Ferguson began what is now known as Saxon Remote Systems LLC. Saxon Remote Systems LLC builds custom remote system technology that provides cost effective solutions for aerial, terrestrial, sub-surface, and marine applications to deliver imaging/mapping to radically transform observation, surveillance, and other information requirements for Infrastructure Management/Development, Environmental Assessment, Construction, Farming, Forestry, and Industry. Saxon Remote Systems LLC has its corporate offices and operations headquartered in McPherson, Kansas with satellite locations in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Central America, and Europe.   In addition, Ferguson’s passion for Coffee started while traveling to exotic countries around the world which spawned Java John’s Coffee Roasterie.  In 2007 Ferguson was nominated for Small Businessman of the Year for the state of Kansas.  Now, Saxon Remote Systems is a well known industry brand for long endurance, fixed wing solutions.

Mert Pellegrin Bio: Mert completed his MBA at Nicholls State University.  His under graduate studies were at the U.S. Naval Academy (Bachelor of Science – Aerospace).  He went on to serve as a fleet fighter pilot and completed Navy Fighter Weapons School (“Top Gun”).  He next completed the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and served as an F14A Tomcat Carrier Suitability experimental test pilot.  Mert has a full membership in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Mert holds FAA Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor certificates and continues to add to his over 15,000 hours of flight experience.  He was a member of the first group to achieve the coveted designation as an NBAA Certified Aviation Manager.

Artificial Intelligence in Offshore Oil & Gas – A Primer
Instructor: Cory Minton – Dell Technologies

Session Description: 
This session will provide an exploration of Artificial Intelligence and the technologies powering it in enterprise today.  We will discuss real world examples of its Machine Learning and Deep Learning while explaining the architectural requirements of the variety of technologies required to power the capabilities.  Given the vast and rapid changing AI ecosystem, we will also explore additional educational endeavors for attendees to pursue when they leave.

Cory Minton Bio:
Cory Minton is a Principal Engineer in Advanced Technologies at Dell EMC, where he works hand in hand with clients across the globe to assess and develop big data strategies, architect technology solutions, and insure successful deployments of these transformational initiatives.  With a diverse background in IT applications, consulting, data center infrastructure, and the expanding big data and AI ecosystems, Cory brings an interesting perspective to the clients he serves while consistently challenging them to think bigger. Cory holds an undergraduate degree in engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Tennessee Tech University.   He is also the host of the popular "Big Data Beard" podcast and blog at  Cory resides in Birmingham, Alabama, with his beautiful wife and two awesome children.  

Transforming Work with Simulators and AI 
Instructor: Felix Gorbatsevich, Ph.D - PaleBlue AS

Session Description:
Simulation technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, and industries are catching on. For decades now, we have heard how Virtual Reality has the potential to transform the way we learn, train, teach, and practice. Today, Virtual Reality (VR) can enable learning by simulating real-world experiences, equipment, and environments. Users can test their skills, record their work, and interact with experts – all by using VR tools. VR provides an alternative medium to meet the needs of users by creating solutions that intensify training, streamline workflow, and improve safety. In this presentation, Dr. Gorbatsevich will discuss the state-of-the art simulation and AI tools that transform the industry today, why simulation tools are needed today, how they can be used, and will show live examples of how this works.

Felix Gorbatsevich Bio:
Dr. Felix Gorbatsevich is the managing director and leading technical expert at PaleBlue AS – the company behind many subsea and diving-oriented training simulators. Felix leads the development of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and 3D simulators for the marine community - creating solutions in digitalization that help clients of PaleBlue to intensify training, streamline workflow, and improve safety. With over 15 years of experience, he has developed a unique understanding of what the end users want, what they need, and what the actual companies for specific industries want. The Marine Community is an example where innovative solutions where created for several areas of the diving industry – reproducing exact diving scenarios, increasing safety, reducing costs, and allowing employees to train better. Dr. Gorbatsevich holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science but he also has “hands on” experience of visiting actual sites, interacting with end users, and developing a good understanding of the industry.