Ørsted A/S (CPH:ORSTED) said on Thursday it has invented and patented the industry’s first uncrewed surface vessel (USV) for offshore met-ocean measurement campaigns, which is expected to help better predict energy production for new offshore wind farms ahead of construction.
Encouraged by positive results from the prototype USV, Ørsted has started serial production and expects to produce five new USVs by the end of 2023.
The USV has a built-in navigation system and is designed for continuous operation in the harshest offshore conditions for a year at a time, the company explains. The vessel serves as a sensor platform capable of gathering data on various aspects such as wind conditions, seabed conditions, and biological and ecological measurements, depending on the chosen sensor instrumentation for each particular operation.
The prototype, named Hugin USV, was constructed by Danish shipbuilder Tuco Marine Group, with the control system delivered by Norwegian company Maritime Robotics AS.
“What’s so special about our USV concept is that it can bring our measurement equipment to and from our offshore sites without the need for large, specialised support vessels, and, while on site, it can operate autonomously for extended periods of time, measuring large amounts of data that can be sent onshore and processed in real time,” commented Frederik Sondergaard Hansen, programme manager and co-inventor of the USV concept.