Norway’s Argeo has launched the first unmanned survey and inspection vessel based on Maritime Robotics’ Mariner X platform. The Argus is expected to undertake mapping and inspection operations for offshore wind projects.

The multipurpose unmanned surface vessel (USV) Argus is 9m (29.5ft) long and can be transported in a shipping container to port for launch, or can be launched from of the conventional crewed sounding vessel, it was designed to operate alongside.

“The strong polyethylene hull makes the Mariner X a stable, unsinkable and virtually maintenance-free platform capable of handling extreme weather conditions,” said Joel Pederick, product manager for Mariner and Mariner X at Maritime Robotics. “Tuned radome protects antennas from harsh elements such as icing in arctic environments.”

This radome houses all of Maritime Robotics’ basic hardware, while a rail system on the 5 m2 (53.8 ft2) the rear deck accommodates field swappable cargo or custom payloads. A suite of configurable sensors can be used to study shallow water geology and undertake detailed seabed mapping in water depths between 2 and 200 meters (6.5 to 656 ft), and the Argus can be equipped with Argeo’s electromagnetic technology for unexploded ordnance investigations and a new ultra-high resolution seismic system if required.

The unmanned survey and inspection vessel Argus has a reported range of 2,500 nautical miles and a 25-day endurance

Maritime robotics

Autonomous systems allow remote supervision and full control through built-in Wi-Fi and LTE, with operators able to remotely monitor the environment while being alerted to potential collisions through the combined efforts of class-leading AIS On-board B (Automated Identification System), radar and live video cameras.

At a constant survey speed of 4 knots, the hybrid propulsion system would provide a range of over 2,500 nautical miles and a range of up to 25 days.

The Argus was launched to tackle offshore wind applications, but can also provide low emissions support for other members of the offshore energy sector, such as oil and gas. And zero-emission operations are very much in progress.

“We have achieved a 95% reduction in emissions compared to a traditional manned ship,” said Argeo CEO Trond Crantz. “Our goal is 100%, which we hope to achieve soon.”

Sources: Maritime robotics, Argeo