Bibby HydroMap has carried out five-day trials of a new Autonomous Unmanned Survey Vessel (AUSV) developed by iXblue at the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm off the North Wales to test the system’s capabilities in challenging marine environments.
The autonomous survey platform has the ability to accommodate a hydrographic and geophysical survey payload and to aid positioning of underwater vehicles, facilitating data collection on a variety of marine projects, according to Bibby HydroMap.
The key purpose of the five-day trials was to rigorously test the performance and survey capabilities of DriX AUSV. Specific locations of interest were identified within the wind farm environment to provide a direct comparison with conventional survey methodologies.
Bibby HydroMap said that the system, fitted with a Teledyne RESON Seabat IDH T50 multibeam echosounder, was able to acquire unprecedentedly clean bathymetry at speeds greater than 8 knots, remaining on the intended survey line in cross-tides in excess of 1.5 knots.
During operations, QPS’s Qimera Live was running on board DriX, but was controlled by technical staff on the support vessel, enabling the fully-processed multibeam echosounder data to be downloaded straight from DriX at the end of each mission. All data is processed in real-time from the support vessel with very little need for further processing ashore, shortening processing timescales and speeding up delivery of critical information, Bibby HydroMap stated.
“DriX continues to build its successful track record across the hydrographic and offshore energy markets,” said Guillaume Edeline, Business Development Manager at iXblue. “This really was a milestone for DriX, proving once again its versatility, the accuracy of its data gathering and its stability in a range of sea states. We are excited by the results and the promising prospects for DriX and Bibby HydroMap.”