Robots set sail

Fri, 10 October 2014

A seven-strong fleet of robotic survey boats is about to embark on a 300 mile survey voyage off the UK’s south west. The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) project will utilise vessels fitted with a range of meteorological and oceanographic sensors to collect scientific data about ocean processes and marine life.

The project, coordinated by NOC, is the most ambitious of its kind in Europe. The vehicles are aiming to travel up to 300 miles over 20 days.

The exercise brings together a wide range of partners including scientists and engineers from research institutes and universities, commercials organisations, government agencies, as well as the MET Office and the Royal Navy.

ASV’s C-Enduro is set to play an important role in the fleet. Communication with C-Enduro will take place over satellite and will be conducted from a control station at ASV's new facility in Portchester. This vehicle is one of three C-Enduro vehicles designed and built by ASV in the past year. The concept was born out of an SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) initiated by NOC's requirement for a long endurance USV for environmental research. Designed to be at sea for up to 90 days, C-Enduro is powered by a combination of wind power, solar power and a lightweight diesel generator.

Speaking about the concept, ASV Managing Director Dan Hook said "ASV is driving the transformation of autonomous vehicle design and operations and has worked hard and fast to develop the C-Enduro utilising some excellent UK engineering companies. Working with NOC and being involved in this project is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of C-Enduro and has played a huge part in its overall development".

Formed in 1998, ASV provides rugged, reliable and effective unmanned marine systems using the latest advances in autonomous technology. Based near Portsmouth in the UK, ASV serve international military and security, oil and gas and science and survey industries.

By Jake Frith

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