Valorous Floating Wind Farm Site Hosts USV Seabed-to-Desk Data Collection Demo

HydroSurv and Sonardyne have completed a demonstration project involving HydroSurv’s Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) and Sonardyne’s acoustic communications technology, whose combined capabilities the two companies showcased at the site of the Valorous floating wind project, developed by TotalEnergies and Simply Blue Energy.

The project, which was part of an extension to the ‘Robotics for a Safer World’ challenge, co-funded by InnovateUK, demonstrated the application of HydroSurv USV fitted with Sonardyne’s Mini-Ranger 2 Ultra-Short Base Line (USBL) positioning system for rapid environmental data collection to the Blue Gem Wind joint venture, Simply Blue Group, and Offshore Wind Consultants (OWC) focusing on the floating wind project.

The aim was to show integrated capability of the two technologies and the benefits of USV platforms in providing rapid environmental assessments offshore.

In March 2022, the collaboration team streamed a live, online demonstration to Blue Gem Wind, Simply Blue Group and OWC audiences in multiple locations, harvesting data straight to a cloud portal and showing near real-time seabed data to desk capability. 

“Put it this way, it’s like having access to your home thermostat from your smart phone, except it’s on the seabed. This is a new digitally enabled way of working, bringing decision-making about operations many kilometres away and hundreds of metres beneath the sea surface, to your fingertips”, said Aidan Thorn, Business Development Manager, Marine Robotics, Sonardyne.

Ian Godfrey, Chief Operating Officer, HydroSurv, said: “This collaborative, seabed to desk data collection project provided a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate a new integrated survey solution for the offshore wind sector. The project has provided a real-world example of the ability to monitor subsea assets at greater frequency, at lower cost and with a significant reduction in carbon emissions when compared to survey campaigns carried out with traditional, crewed vessels”.

For the project, HydroSurv used its zero-emission, fully electric REAV-40 USV, one of the two autonomous surface vessels the company presented last year as part of a Innovate UK-funded project together with ORE Catapult, Reygar and Core Blue.

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The company’s REAV-16 and REAV-40 autonomous vessels were described by ORE Catapult as ”game-changing”.

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Photo: HydroSurv