Home » News » USV »

VLIZ – Flanders Marine Institute acquires Maritime Robotic’s long range USV

Date: 05 Jun 2024 Author: Raymond

Over the last year, Maritime Robotics and VLIZ have collaborated intensively on the design and build of a highly customized Mariner X USV (USV Gobelijn), which is outfitted with a range of state-of-the-art scientific sensors. In addition, USV Gobelijn is equipped with a launch and recovery system (LARS) that is able to deploy ocean gliders. The USV was officially presented on 30 May 2024 (Ostend, Belgium).

USV Gobelijn will be piloted from a remote-control center based onshore. The USV significantly enhances the action radius of the VLIZ-observation activities as it can operate – as one of the first in its kind – in the North Sea as well as in a blue ocean environment.

🎤 Wieter Boone, head of Marine Robotics at Centre VLIZ: “We have defined an elaborate set of provisions and requirements which USV Gobelijn has to meet in order to enable truly remote-controlled operations in the North Sea and beyond.One of the showpieces is the underway sensor lab (SubCtech) that will allow us to study the carbon chemistry of the seawater and assess the impact of climate change on the ocean. We are also particularly proud of the USV’s capacity to interact with other robots, for example by deploying or aiding them while navigating underwater. It can be stated that the versatile USV Gobelijn with its long endurance and action radius of more than 1000 nautical miles, make it a small research vessel.”

🎤 Jan Mees, general director at VLIZ: “We are convinced that USV Gobelijn will pave the way towards more observations, research, and innovation at sea, with a reduced staff effort and a smaller carbon footprint. This may well be a paradigm shift in our approach to ocean observation, one which is highly needed to fully elucidate the marine environment and allow for a sustainable development of the Blue Economy.”

🎤 Eirik Moholt, Senior Product & Project Manager at Maritime Robotics: “The Mariner X built for VLIZ has pushed the boundaries of what USV technology can do. VLIZ has opened up the possibility of implementing Maritime Robotics’ newest situation awareness system and autonomous navigation functions. Together, VLIZ and Maritime Robotics have taken on the challenge of launching and recovering gliders from the Mariner X. This pushes the limits of what has been done with a USV before.”

⚙ USV Gobelijn is built for payload flexibility. With a customizable back deck and a payload capacity of 1000 kg, USV Gobelijn works as a cost-effective sensor platform. Both real-time CTD probes with a winch and an underway water sampling lab are placed on the back deck. With the L-track system and available power and communication, new payloads can be integrated easily. USV Gobelijn has the possibility to install two moonpool elevators for easy installation and operation of subsurface sensors such as acoustic modems and multibeam echo sounders. In the space for the hull-mounted sensors, a single-beam echosounder and an ADCP/DVL were integrated.

📃📷 Source: Maritime Robotic