iXblue has confirmed that it has recently undertaken a complete bathymetric survey of the Saint Nazaire offshore wind farm, 20 kilometres off the west coast of France, with its DriX USV (unmanned surface vessel). The operation was conducted remotely by a team of iXblue surveyors from their Remote Control Center in La Ciotat, south-east France, with the aid of 4G and satellite communications.
The purpose of the bathymetric survey inspection was to verify seabed conditions before the deployment of Jan De Nul Group’s Vole au Vent offshore installation vessel. Challenging offshore conditions included strong winds and side currents, as well as an obstructed site with around 70 monopiles already installed and several construction vessels mobilized. Despite this, the iXblue DriX USV, fitted with a Kongsberg EM2040 MBES, efficiently acquired accurate and high-resolution bathymetric data. The DriX USV conducted the survey without the need of a support vessel, relying on its unique situational awareness and obstacle avoidance system.
David Vincentelli, head of iXblue’s Sea Operations division, commented: “We are pleased to have proven, once again, that the deployment of autonomous platforms is the way to go to deliver safe, carbon neutral and efficient offshore survey. From our experience deploying our DriX USV, we know that replacing traditional survey vessels with uncrewed platforms is key to delivering unmatched efficiency and data quality in complex environments such as offshore wind farms.”
“We are very proud to be leading the way towards new remotely operated uncrewed operations, supporting our customers in this transition, and would like to thank Jan De Nul Group and EDF Renewables and its partner for their trust on this new project.”