Ocean data is collected by our underwater robots at speeds up to 10 times faster than by conventional ROVs. Moreover, we can operate multiple underwater robots from a single surface robot, multiplying the productivity by another factor of up to 5. Our surface robots consume 10 times less energy than a typical offshore vessel on the same operation. This means that even before any measures to offset emissions or zero-emission energy carriers, the ocean data delivered by uSEA is inherently more than 100 to 500 times greener than the traditional alternatives.
Delivering ocean data collected by underwater robots and surface robots, uSEA eliminates all human exposure to offshore hazards. The crews manning our remote operation centre work in office conditions, going home at the end of every shift. Simply put, uSEA makes sure health and safety is taken to the extreme.
Costs of ocean data collection and light intervention operations are tightly linked to the duration of the operations on the oceans and the resources used. uSEA’s robotic fleet can operate multiple untethered underwater robots simultaneously, and we can collect data from larger areas in shorter periods of time, with absolutely no compromise in data quality. By supporting the underwater robots with surface robots that are more cost-efficient than traditional offshore vessels, uSEA can deliver world class ocean data at unrivalled cost-efficiency.
10 times more energy-efficient than conventional vessels,
Zero offshore crew.
It is clear to us that, at the end of the day, what matters most for our customers is to receive world-class ocean data at absolute minimal impact on the environment and society and at the lowest possible cost. In this context, vessels are part of the means, not the end goals. That is why we have developed our surface robots to deliver just that: sustainable, safe and cost-efficient support to acquisition of ocean data, with no compromise in quality.
- Length: 24m
- Level of autonomy: Permanently unmanned, remotely operated with limited autonomous functions.
- Propulsion: fully redundant with dynamic positioning capabilities
- Seaworthiness: 100-year storm in the Northern Atlantic
- Endurance: 4 weeks without refuelling or support
- Underwater robot capacity: up to 5 AUVs or 1 WROV
- Main comms: GSO satcom, LEO satcom, MBR, 4G, VHF
Having ocean data in the core of everything we do, our surface robots use state of the art redundant communications systems. The shore control centre is at all times fully aware of the status and in control of the ongoing operation out on the oceans. The surface robots’ intelligent systems support safe operation and enables efficient communication of situational awareness data and survey data.
Our surface robots, also known as unmanned surface vessels (USVs), are optimised for operations such as subsea survey, inspection and light intervention using unmanned underwater vehicles. Its main specialties are transport, deployment, in-mission support and recovery of AUVs, ROVs and ROTVs.
Equipped with a moonpool and a spacious aft deck, our surface robots are capable of operating multiple underwater vehicles even in severe weather conditions.
For hydrographic surveys that do not require underwater vehicles, our surface robots operate multiple mapping sensors such as multibeam echosounders installed in a gondola.
Our surface robots are equipped with our proprietary, revolutionary unmanned launch and recovery system, uLARSTM. Developed for “unmanning” all the tasks and interfaces related to AUV management onboard a vessel, the uLARS is capable of:
- Launching AUVs
- Recovering AUVs
- Recharging AUV batteries
- Transferring data between AUVs and USVs
How our surface robots operate underwater robots:
Docking at a controlled depth
The uLARS(tm) docks to the AUV at a controlled depth, through an actively controlled towhead. The towhead itself is steered in the horizontal and vertical planes towards the AUV in the water column, whilst the tow cable de-couples the towhead from the vessel motions using a smart winch. In practice, this means that the AUV can be docked under virtually any weather condition.
Submerged power and data transfer
Full power and data connectivity can be kept with the AUVs when they are on the USV’s deck or when they are in water, docked to the towhead at a controlled depth. In practice, this means that AUVs do not need to be brought to and from the surface at every battery/data storage cycle. And most importantly, AUV operations do not need to stop because of weather conditions.
Safe launch and recovery through moonpool
When AUV are to be launched to water or recovered to the deck, this is done in a controlled manner, using a proprietary handling system through the vessel’s moonpool. Replacing cranes and traditional stinger L&R solutions, the uLARSTM handles AUVs in the safest possible manner, with no risk of damage to the underwater or surface robots.
10 times more time-efficient than traditional ROVs
The underwater robots in uSEA’s fleet are tether-less autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and therefore free from all challenges associated with tether management and drag. Hence, whether in a survey, inspection or light intervention work, a suitably configured AUV sets the standard in shallow, deep and ultradeep waters.
Our underwater robots are ready to harness the latest and future developments in AUV edge computing for sensor data. This enables real-time quality control and enables shore control to make the right operational priorities. uSEA operates two types of underwater robots, which are carefully configured for the needs of each particular job:
Our survey AUVs are optimised for data collection. These underwater robots have the ideal stability and noise signature for accurate acoustic and optical survey sensors. In missions such as seabed mapping or cable inspection, survey AUVs can collect data at speeds up to 10 times faster than remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), with no compromise in data quality. It is simply the most efficient sensor carrier, and the advantages are even more pronounced when covering large areas or long corridors.
Our multipurpose AUVs are state-of-the-art vehicles with advanced manoeuvrability and able to carry tools for light intervention and special sensor packages for inspection. They cover many of the requirements that historically have been met with ROVs, just in a smarter way.
uSEA’s multipurpose AUVs can also serve as resident drones where a subsea docking station is available. The resident drone mode, combined with the support from our surface robots, is a game changer for permanent offshore facilities.