Deep BV boosts autonomous survey capacity

Amsterdam-based Deep BV will upgrade one of its survey vessels with US-based Sea Machines Robotics SM300 autonomous control system.

The Sea Machines system enables remote command of the vessel, including navigation and positioning, the control of on-board auxiliaries and sensors, as well as ship-to-shore data flow.

This Sea Machines system can be installed on new and also existing vessels.

With the SM300, surveyors can remotely monitor and also command multiple autonomous vessels from a shipboard or shore-based center.

This remote capability further increases operational health and safety by reducing or removing high-risk activities.

By breaking the 1:1 crew-to-vessel relationship, companies can better utilize their technical experts across multiple concurrent projects.

Initially, Deep will deploy the Sea Machines-enabled vessel for a mission to survey the Wadden Sea..

With no surveyors on board, Deep operators will command and control the autonomous vessel from its shoreside Survey Control Room.

Deep will then transfer all collected data from the vessel to the control room via 4G and satellite connection.

Combining Sea Machines’ technology and the Survey Control Room should enable Deep to transition to unmanned missions in the near future.

Sea Machines’ CEO, Michael G. Johnson, said:

“Sea Machines systems are an ideal fit for commercial marine operations that require high levels of predictability, productivity and safety,”

“For these reasons, hydrographic survey is an exemplary use case for our autonomous-command and remote-helm control technologies.

Deep’s CCO Jurgen Beerens, stated:

“The purpose of our Survey Control Room is to offer our clients many possibilities like ad hoc surveys, simultaneous conducted surveys operated by only one survey crew, and multi-purpose use of vessels already available in the field.

“Besides these unparalleled flexibility advantages, it offers a time-saving option to increase efficiency and control costs.

“With Sea Machines integrated on our vessel, we will soon begin to transfer tasks from the vessel to the safe working environment of the office.

“As well as improving safety, we will gain flexibility, continuity and quality, and we will reduce risks and our carbon footprint.”

In September 2019, Deep was the first company to conduct remote surveys without surveyors on board in the Netherlands.

Namely, these early missions included a captain and crew on board, with surveyors based in the Survey Control Room.

In short, installation of the SM300 is Deep’s next step to move towards safer and more efficient remote survey operations.

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