iXblue has demonstrated its DriX USV (unmanned surface vessel) at an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). The company has been identified by the IHO as a pioneer in the transition of the hydrographic industry towards more efficient and environmental-friendly unmanned maritime operations.
During the event, iXblue used the DriX USV to present new methods and strategies developed for seabed mapping, as well as to demonstrate how autonomous vehicles can collect data in support of the hydro-oceanographic industry.
DriX is an 8-metre-long USV that conducts hydrographic surveys in order to map the oceans, 85% of which remain unknown to this day. Equipped with advanced sensors such as radar, LiDAR and visual cameras, as well as artificial intelligence capabilities, DriX analyzes its environment, avoids obstacles and carries out its missions autonomously. The USV can autonomously map large areas in a reduced amount of time, contributing to the rapid improvement of the understanding of Earth’s oceans.
Lighter than traditional vessels, and with an enhanced hydrodynamic design, DriX helps reduce the environmental footprint of hydrographic surveys. Compared to traditional survey vessels, the USV decreases fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by a factor of 50 and reduces radiated noise for lesser impact on marine wildlife.
DriX has been selected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create a next-generation ocean exploration system. It has also been evaluated by the French Navy’s Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOM) via the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) as part of an armament program.
David Vincentelli, director of the Sea Operations division at iXblue, commented: “We are proud to be recognized by the IHO as a key player of the hydrographic industry and to be able to represent, with our DriX Unmanned Surface Vehicle, the future of hydrography. It was an honor to be a part of this event celebrating 100 years of IHO’s missions to serve our oceans and to be able to contribute, alongside them, to the transformation and promotion of our industry.”