Dutch marine construction firm Van Oord has returned to fellow unmanned surface vessels (USVs) maker Demcon for a larger autonomous platform suitable for challenging offshore conditions and weeklong survey operations at sea.
Van Oord had previously ordered electrically powered survey vessels for hydrographical inspections in inland waters, called the DUS V2500. However, with this order, the contractor is moving towards unmanned offshore surveys. Demcon said the new vessel, which can fit into a 20-foot container, can be used in support of dredging operations, installing offshore windfarms and constructing maritime infrastructure.
“The autonomous offshore inspection platform is with 6 m in size a magnitude larger than the DUS V2500 model, must be able to sail at sea for several weeks and will incorporate new autonomous applications for unmanned offshore operations,” noted Fedor Ester, managing director of Demcon.
The vessel will be delivered to Van Oord within one year. After delivery, Demcon said it would continuously upgrade the vessel and its autonomous navigation system software. “This way, together with Van Oord, we will be improving the autonomous navigation and increasing the vessel’s range of applications over its lifetime,” the company added.