Case Study Facts:
- In the late 1970’s, TCOM decided to develop, design and build the Small Tethered Aerostat Relocatable System or STARS as a company funded project
- The system consisted of a 25M aerostat, fiber optic powered tether and a mobile mooring system
- TCOM helped Dome Petro detect, track and avoid large ice floes so that drilling operations would no longer be suspended
Dome Petroleum (based in Canada) approached TCOM to ask if a STARS system could be equipped with a marine radar to search for large ice floes which were a threat to Dome oil drilling operations in the Beaufort Sea near the Arctic Circle. The new and very challenging twist to this mission requirement was that this aerostat and radar needed to be installed on a Dome 125 foot resupply vessel (named the Canmar Teal) to get near the ice floes and drilling operations in the Beaufort Sea.
TCOM accepted this demanding project (which was named Project Penguin) and successfully deployed its first sea-based aerostat system (equipped with a DECCA marine radar) in the fall of 1981.
This capability helped Dome Petroleum detect, track and avoid large ice floes and safely continue at-sea oil drilling operations when these threatening ice floes would normally have forced them to be suspended.
Dome had intended to use this first system plus 2-3 more the following year but the company developed serious problems as a result of the 1986 drop in world oil prices and substantial debts from past takeovers. In September 1988, Dome was bought by Amoco Canada Petroleum Co Ltd.