Inertial Navigation & Positioning Technology for Unmanned, Autonomous Systems

Combined USV & AUV Capability Demonstrated

By Mike Ball / 26 Jan 2022

iXblue combined USV and AUV mission

iXblue has partnered with energy provider TotalEnergies to demonstrate collaborative unmanned vehicle capabilities for subsea inspection and asset survey operations, using a USV (uncrewed surface vessel) in conjunction with an AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle).

Successful trials wereconducted off the coast of La Ciotat in the south of France. An iXblue DriX USV and a Teledyne Gavia AUV were remotely controlled and supervised from iXblue’s Onshore Control Center, with the DriX acting as a communication gateway between the onshore control center and the Gavia AUV. The two unmanned systems were able to successfully communicate together, thanks to the Gaps USBL positioning system installed within the DriX gondola which tracked the Gavia AUV.

Mathieu Lardeux, R&D Project Manager at TotalEnergies, commented: “With these sea trials, we were able to successfully demonstrate the combination of two light drones working in a collaborative mode, remotely controlled and supervised from the shore. Thanks to the DriX USV, we were able to track the Gavia AUV and send it new mission plans to allow the AUV to closely inspect some defined subsea features, all from the safety of the onshore control center.”

“This opens up great possibilities for future multi-energy offshore developments. Replacing the use of conventional large, crewed inspection and survey vessels with uncrewed solutions such as the DriX USV will allow us to reduce offshore risk for personnel, decrease operational costs and lower the carbon footprint of our offshore operations.”

Olivier Cervantes, VP Energy Markets at iXblue, said: “We are delighted to have been able to demonstrate our capability to conduct collaborative surface/subsea autonomous vehicles operations to TotalEnergies. This broadens the range of applications of our DriX USV, and especially for deeper waters operations, where the use of AUV is necessary. We now look forward to the next steps in our collaboration and to conduct an operational survey on one of TotalEnergies Offshore field in the near future.”

To learn more, contact iXblue: Visit Website Send Message View Supplier Profile
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