Jan De Nul Group has ordered a type Mariner unmanned surface vehicle (USV) from Norwegian company Maritime Robotic. The order is the first step towards unmanned and autonomous offshore survey operations, Jan De Nul said.
Named Beluga 01, the vessel will sail under the Luxembourg flag and be deployed for worldwide hydrographical and environmental surveys on marine and offshore construction projects. It fits in a container for easy transport.
The Beluga 01 is equipped with a fully redundant hybrid propulsion system. The prime source of propulsion is a diesel engine that is mechanically coupled to the water jet. Alternatively, the vessel can be operated in full electric mode. There is also a range extender module to top up the batteries which will operate longer than 12 hours. The vessel can survive in up to sea state seven. The Beluga 01 only needs 80cm of water to operate in.
Mike Lycke, Survey Manager Offshore Projects at Jan De Nul Group comments: “For several years, we have been studying different autonomous systems. Our primary focus has always been to build up our expertise on autonomy for maritime survey operations. The global circumstances in 2020 and a maturing USV market enabled us to take it to the next step and order a turnkey vessel for our marine and offshore projects. We found the perfect partner in Maritime Robotics, a leading provider of innovative unmanned solutions for maritime operations and data acquisition.”
Jan De Nul orders seagoing unmanned survey vessel