Jan De Nul orders unmanned survey vessel

Belgian offshore service provider Jan De Nul has ordered Maritime Robotic’s diesel-electric hybrid unmanned surface vehicle (USV) as the first step towards unmanned and autonomous offshore survey operations.

Named Beluga 01, the vessel will sail under the Luxembourg flag and be deployed for worldwide hydrographical and environmental surveys on marine and offshore construction projects. The move will see Jan De Nul become the first dredging contractor to deploy an unmanned survey vehicle in marine and offshore conditions.

The USV is based on Maritime Robotics’ Mariner class, which is said to be a cost-effective and low-risk platform for data acquisition at sea as an alternative or adjunct to larger manned vessels. “By choosing unmanned surveys and by opting for the Mariner class USV, Jan De Nul fully commits to improved safety and operational control during its survey activities, reduced carbon emissions, and more efficient data acquisition,” the company said.

Mike Lycke, survey manager offshore projects at Jan De Nul, added: “For several years, we have been studying different autonomous systems. Our primary focus has always been to build up our expertise on autonomy for maritime survey operations. The global circumstances in 2020 and a maturing USV market enabled us to take it to the next step and order a turnkey vessel for our marine and offshore projects.”

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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