Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) for Marine Monitoring and Surveying

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) for Marine Monitoring and Surveying
AutoNaut Ltd,
Unit A2, Chichester Marina, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 7EJ, UK Regional offices
+44 (0)1243 511 421

Autonomous unmanned surface vehicle

AutoNaut is a leading designer and manufacturer of autonomous wave-propelled unmanned surface vehicles (USVs). Powered by renewable energy and incorporating our proprietary Wave Foil technology, our state-of-the-art marine vessels are ideal for a wide range of data acquisition and monitoring applications, providing persistent operation even in the harshest of maritime environments.

AutoNaut Unmanned Surface Vehicles

AutoNaut 3.5 and AutoNaut 5 USVs

With renewable wave power, sensors powered by solar power and intelligent rechargeable battery management, AutoNaut USVs provide long-endurance, zero carbon emission operation with no fuel costs. Our unique Wave Foil technology converts energy from the pitch and roll of the hull into thrust, with four keel-mounted foils propelling the vessel forwards.

The rugged hull, constructed from a glass epoxy resin infusion, and woven carbon fibre mast allow the lightweight yet tough unmanned vessels to survive a variety of sea states and weather conditions. The reliable self-righting design ensures continued mission success even in 65 kt storms with 10-metre waves.

AutoNaut 3.5 USV

AutoNaut 3.5 USV

AutoNaut 5 Wave Propelled USV

AutoNaut 5 Wave Propelled USV

Our autonomous vessels can be monitored from shore via Wifi/UHF, Iridium SBD/RUDICS, or Inmarsat Fleet Broadband. Operators can check health, view incoming data and remotely control the USV all in near-real time.

AutoNaut USVs can be rapidly launched and recovered from a slipway or vessel, requiring only two operators and a single-point lift. With only a few moving parts, the vessel is near silent with practically zero noise interference, providing ideal conditions for sensors such as USBL (Ultra-short-baseline) and LBL (Long-baseline) underwater acoustic positioning systems.

Modular transportable USV

The easily-transportable AutoNaut 3.5 can accommodate a single large sensor, while the larger AutoNaut 5 can be equipped with several payloads for flexible mission solutions.


AutoNaut 3.5 AutoNaut 5
Length 3.5 m 5.0 m
Beam 0.67 m 0.8 m
Mast Height 1.5 m 2.0 m
Total Draft 0.56 m 0.8 m
Displacement 150 kg 230 kg
Solar Panels Peak Output 175 W 300 W
Speed 1 – 3 knots 1 – 3 knots

AutoNaut USV for marine monitoring

Wave propelled autonomous USV

USV Applications

Meteorological & Oceanographic Monitoring

With their long-endurance capabilities and ease of deployment, AutoNaut USVs are ideal for a wide variety of meteorological and oceanographic monitoring missions. The unmanned vessels can either act as a station-keeping buoy for weather monitoring, or conduct survey transects and measure a range of environmental conditions.

USV for Oceanographic monitoring

Passive Acoustic Monitoring

Featuring near-silent operation, AutoNaut USVs are ideal platforms for Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM). When equipped with hydrophone sensors, the unmanned vessels provide a mobile, low-noise solution for marine acoustic surveying, including unobtrusive monitoring of marine mammals.

Water Quality Monitoring

AutoNaut USVs can monitor important indicators of water quality, including conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll levels, pH, turbidity and dissolved organic matter.

AutoNaut unmanned surface vehicle for ocean surveys

Communications Gateways

The AutoNaut 3.5 USV can be configured as a long-duration surface communications gateway and information hub, featuring a range of sensor options and the ability to harvest data and provide links to autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), seafloor communications and sensor nodes, and other subsea assets. Information can be relayed over-the-horizon via satellite link.

Rugged Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV)

Marine Life Monitoring

With silent capabilities, zero emissions, and the ability to operate autonomously for weeks at a time, AutoNaut USVs are ideally suited for monitoring of fish populations, coral reef conditions and other marine life surveying.

Read how researchers used the AutoNaut 5 USV to monitor fish stocks in the North Atlantic and Baltic Seas.


The persistent and silent operation of AutoNaut USVs make them capable maritime surveillance platforms, providing ISR (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and ground-truthing of satellite remote sensing. Advanced payloads include electronic emission detectors, thermal imaging systems, and cameras for capturing video and still images both above and below the waterline.

USV for marine surveillance

USV Sensors & Payloads

AutoNaut USVs are available with a variety of state-of-the-art payloads and sensors, enabling flexible mission capabilities for many different applications.

Weather Stations

  • WindSonic Wind Sensors – 2-axis ultrasonic wind measurement outputting true speed and direction
  • AirMar Ultrasonic Weather Stations – outputs apparent & true wind, barometric pressure, air temperature, GPS location
  • Vaisala PTB110 Barometer – features accurate barometric pressure measurements over a wide temperature range
  • CS300 Pyranometer – compatible with most Campbell Scientific dataloggers and designed for continuous, long-term, unattended operation in adverse conditions

USV Weather Station


  • YSI EXO2 Water Quality Sonar – measures conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll levels, pH, turbidity and dissolved organic matter
  • Valeport Mini-CTD Probe – features a variety of pre-programmed sampling modes, and available in both 6000m titanium and 500 acetal versions
  • Oxygen Optodes – high-accuracy absolute oxygen concentration measurement without repeated calibrations with a response time of <8 sec
  • ECO Triplet Flurometer and Back-scattering Sensor – measures RGB scattering and chlorophyll/CDOM/phycoerythrin/phycocyanin/rhodamine/uranine (fluorescein) fluorescence

SWiFT SVP Oceanography

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)

  • Teledyne Marine Workhorse Monitor ADCP – high-reliability four-beam solution with extreme accuracy
  • Nortek Signature 1000/500 – designed for costal surveying, turbulence and current studies, and sediment transport studies

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) for USV

Wave Measurement

Anderaa Motus Wave Sensor 5729 – provides accurate measurement of wave characteristics, with a high sampling rate and the ability to distinguish direction of swells and wind driven waves

Wave MeasurementSensor for USV

Passive Acoustic Monitoring

MicroPAM Monitoring and Mitigation System – miniature rugged system with interchangeable hydrophone cables for single or multi-sensor arrays

AutoNaut’s Open Source Sensor Interface (OSSI) also allows customers to easily integrate custom or third-party sensors into our USVs using various data protocols, with full control. This highly versatile capability provides customizable onboard logging and data processing options, as well as adaptable communications modules including GSM, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Iridium/Inmarsat satcom.

Regional Offices & Locations
AutoNaut AutoNaut Ltd,
Unit A2, Chichester Marina, Chichester, West Sussex PO20 7EJ, UK
+44 (0)1243 511 421 Contact Send Message Website