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Autonomous surface vessel for inspection of marine and submarine facilities and structures

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Partner keyword: 
Remote Control
Construction maintenance and monitoring methods & equipment
Sensor Technology related to measurements
Remote sensing technology
Wind energy
Marine energy
Metering and monitoring
Engineering services
Facility management companies
Building of ships and floating structures
Engineering activities and related technical consultancy


A Spanish SME, highly experienced in hydrography and offshore projects, has developed an autonomous surface vessel (ASV) for inspection of marine structures. This ASV provides a safer and cheaper alternative for obtaining marine data, as well as allowing the remote analysis of the data in real time. The company offers technical cooperation agreements and commercial agreements with technical assistance to companies interested in the use or exploitation of this ASV.



A Spanish company is specialised in hydrography and offshore projects. Through its experience, the company knows that obtaining marine data has a main inconvenient: its cost. Human manned ships are very expensive: over 50% of the operational costs correspond to the crew. This is the main reason for the development of an autonomous surface vessel (ASV) devoted to the inspection of offshore marine facilities.

The ASV is able to carry on many different sensors (weather station, curren meter, multibeam sounder, underwater camera, etc.), which allow it to collect marine data or develop facilities monitoring tasks. Another key advantage is the sending of this data via satellite to a land control base and its processing in real time.

Currently the ASV has been developed to a TRL 7 (Technology Readiness Level), which corresponds to a demonstration system operating in operational environment at pre-commercial scale. All the technology has been developed and is functional. The following step is to build the vessel and test it on open seas.

The company offers commercial agreements with technical cooperation, to companies related to the maintenance and monitoring of marine structures and facilities. These companies should be interested in the use of this ASV in different monitoring and maintenance tasks in their own controlled infrastructures. The company also offers technical cooperation agreements to these types of companies that are also interested in collaborate in the customisation of the ASV, its sensors, procedures, etc. This would allow better knowing and addressing the needs of future commercial partners in a range of sectors and helping in the interpretation of the obtained data.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The main advantage of this ASV in data acquisition is its efficiency. Compared to a traditional manned vessel, data acquisition using this ASV cost less than 50%. The use of this ASV increases safety during data acquisition since there is no crew involved in the sea, which allows its use in dangerous areas or areas where a manned vessel could not access due to high accident risk. The ASV is the tool for data gathering. The data is sent to the ground control centre for its evaluation in real time. The control centre can interact with the ASV in real time. ASV characteristics: - Length 5.65 m; beam 1.53 m; draft between 0.1 and 2.0 m. - Autonomy: 15 days, with a use of 24 hours/ all days of the week (24/7). - Outboard motor that could use different fuels / power sources, even electrical power if needed. - Transportable inside a 24 feet (7.3 m) container to anywhere in the world (quick deployment). - Autopilot with surface radar and 4G communications via satellite. Sensors on board: can be equipped with weather station, current meter, multibeam sounder, underwater camera, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging / Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging) for the inspection of emerged structures, CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth) probe, etc.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Under development/lab tested

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
- Type of partner sought: Companies. - Specific area of activity of the partner: Inspection of marine structures and offshore facilities. - Task to be performed: Technical cooperation agreements: collaborate in the testing of the ASV in real offshore conditions, adaptation to specific needs, interpretation of obtained data. Commercial agreements with technical cooperation: adapt the ASV and its sensors to the specific needs of the client in order to provide the most appropriate service.