Equinor and AMS Unveil Autonomous OW Survey Vessel

Equinor and Autonomous Marine Systems Inc. (AMS) have launched the first-ever autonomous sailing platform for offshore wind surveys.

The Datamaran is a 16-foot wind and solar-powered system which carries a LiDAR to collect data on wind and weather conditions at remote offshore wind lease areas.

It underwent several years of testing and is now ready for commercial deployment as an autonomous platform for wind resource assessments.

“In keeping with our partnership with Equinor, we’ve named this latest class of vessels ‘Njord.’ We launched it successfully last week, and now we’re looking forward to deploying the technology worldwide to deliver order-of-magnitude benefits to offshore wind development,” said Ravijit Paintal, CEO of AMS.

The Datamaran reduces the cost of gathering crucial data for the development of offshore wind projects, Equinor said, adding that conducted studies and prototypes also showed improvements in lead time and areal coverage.

According to Equinor, the technology transmits acquired data and vessel health status to onshore operations via fault-tolerant communication channels. The vessel is propelled by a rigid wing sail while the LiDAR, navigation, and communication systems are powered by deck and sail mounted solar panels and large batteries.

In addition, standard integration interfaces are said to enable flexibility in sensor payload and survey types such as standard meteorological ocean, bathymetric and hydrographic, current and wave characteristics, avian and marine mammal detection, and alerting.

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