Saildrone Receives First-Ever Classification for Autonomous Surface Vehicle

Based in Alameda, California, Saildrone, a pioneer in ocean data collection utilising autonomous vehicles, has reached a critical milestone by acquiring the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) first-ever categorisation for an independent and uncrewed surface vehicle (USV).

Image credit: SAILDRONE

The Saildrone Voyager, a 10-meter USV specialising in near-shore bathymetry and maritime security, was awarded the classification.

With this designation, the Voyager became the first commercial USV to earn such recognition.

Per Saildrone, the achievement is significant because it permits the Voyager to operate in ports and waters across nations that require vessel class approval.

It also demonstrates Saildrone’s dedication to security, standardisation, and dependability in technology and operations.

The Voyager is a coastal ocean mapping vessel outfitted with modern sensors and instrumentation.

It is outfitted with a high-resolution multibeam echo sounder (the MBES), an advanced Innomar SBP system, as well as an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance sensor suite that includes an intelligent camera array, digital radar, and subsurface passive acoustics.

In the words of Saildrone, the Voyager is the sole survey USV capable of conducting long-duration multibeam mapping assessments that match industry standards.

Saildrone USVs are primarily powered by solar and wind energy. They gather ocean data above and below the ocean’s surface, providing vital information to scientific institutions, government departments, and commercial partners.

Uncrewed drone vehicles have tremendous potential to change how we operate at sea, and they are a first step toward adopting commercial autonomous vessels, stated Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior VP and CTO.

He added that ABS is a leader in this space, collaborating with key partners worldwide to encourage the creation and widespread use of the strategies and technologies that will underpin autonomous shipping.

Saildrone Voyager is an amazing piece of technology and a significant step toward autonomous activities, and they are happy to be able to support it.

This categorisation comes on the heels of ABS’s previous grant of Approval in Principle for the Voyager and the bigger 20-meter Surveyor platforms, which aids clients in determining the feasibility of their ideas.

Saildrone is increasing its data delivery services for scientific institutions, government organisations, and commercial partners now that Voyager has been classified, altering how ocean data is acquired and used for science, commercial, and defence purposes worldwide.

Reference- Saildrone

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