USV Surveys Offshore Wind Farm

By Mike Ball / 06 Feb 2020
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XOCEAN, a provider of marine data collection services, has announced that the company’s remotely controlled XO-450 unmanned surface vessel (USV) has been used to survey Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, a joint venture between SSE Renewables and innogy off the coast of Suffolk, UK.

The 500MW offshore wind farm generates enough low-carbon renewable energy each year to power the equivalent of over 400,000 UK homes. The company claims that such surveying work is a first for the offshore wind sector.

The USV carried out seabed surveys on seven of the turbines at the 140-turbine wind farm, located 23 kilometres off the coast. The vessel is approximately 4.5 metres long and weighs around 750kg, and can be monitored and controlled 24/7 via a satellite connection by a team at an on-shore control centre.

An expert shore-based team monitored data in real time throughout the mission, to provide validation before the vessel left each survey area. With these highly flexible and collaborative capabilities, users can have direct access to real-time data, from any location. Other benefits of USV technology for surveying include increased safety, efficient 24/7 operation and low emissions.

Jeremy Williamson, SSE Renewables Head of Operations, commented: “We are constantly looking for innovative ways in which we can operate our fleet of renewables assets. XOCEAN’s vessel will allow us to carry out our work in a more efficient, and most importantly for SSE Renewables and our partners innogy, in the safest way possible. We’re really interested to see how this sort of work can help improve our industry and look forward to working with XOCEAN in future.”

James Ives, CEO of XOCEAN, stated: “Our USV platform has demonstrated itself to be a safe, reliable and low carbon solution for the collection of ocean data. We are delighted to be working with SSE and innogy on this ground-breaking project.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact