Irish Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) developer and manufacturer, XOCEAN, has undertaken the first uncrewed vessel survey in Irish waters off the County Louth coast.
The USV undertook an environmental survey of the seabed in collaboration with Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), representing a step forward in reducing the carbon footprint associated with offshore survey operations. This environmental research survey, utilising multi-beam echo-sounder sensors, will be used to characterise the seabed in this area of the Irish Sea.
XOCEAN’s carbon-neutral approach to delivering marine data has seen it deliver over 100 projects globally to date. In the last 12 months, the XOCEAN team has grown from 41 to 120 and plans to recruit 100 additional hires in the next 6 months. Ireland is fast-tracking the development of its offshore wind sector in line with commitments to increase offshore wind capacity to 3.5GW as part of the government’s ambitions to deliver 70% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, as a result of the 2019 Climate Action Plan.
XOCEAN’s uncrewed vessel is around 4.5 metres long, and with a weight of 750kg. It emits just one thousandth of the carbon typically produced by traditional offshore survey vessels. Throughout the survey, a team of qualified mariners and surveyors monitored the USV 24/7 to ensure the safety of navigation and that the highest quality data was collected.
Commenting on the project, James Ives, CEO of XOCEAN, said, “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 in Irish waters and in collaboration with Dundalk Institute of Technology on this important environmental project.”
Hildegarde Naughton, T.D. and Minister of State at the Department of Transport, and former Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, has highlighted the Government’s responsibility to address the urgent issue of climate change: “We are constantly looking for innovative ways to promote positive sustainable action on climate change and XOCEAN’s low-carbon approach to delivering marine data in the safest way possible is a very positive step forward. The vision and innovation demonstrated by Irish based XOCEAN creates opportunity for the development of sustainable projects to be conducted in a sustainable way, such as the preparation of sites and route planning for offshore wind energy projects. Transport has an important role to play in terms of tackling our emissions and the technology development of uncrewed marine vessels in a safe and carbon neutral manner is to be welcomed and embraced.”