Mayflower autonomous ship

Valeport kits out Mayflower autonomous ship

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship set to self-navigate across the Atlantic autonomously in Spring 2021, will have new Valeport uvSVX and a Valeport Altimeter to provide underwater depth data.


Sailing from Plymouth, UK, to Plymouth, USA, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will trace the route of the original 1620 Mayflower to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the famous voyage.

It will also become one of the first full-sized, fully autonomous vessels to cross the Atlantic.

Marine research organisation, ProMare is leading the development of the MAS.

Throughout the 3220-mile journey the MAS will function as a science laboratory and Valeport’s uvSVX and VA500 Altimeter should enhance its operational capability.

The MAS will also be one of the first applications for Valeport’s new compact and lightweight SVP profiler, the uvSVX.

Fitted through the hull of the MAS the uvSVX features Valeport’s Sound Velocity, Temperature and Depth technology and delivers salinity, conductivity and density data, along with SVP as standard.

The design of the new uvSVX is specifically for vehicles where space is a premium.

It also assures high accuracy with the addition of Valeport’s interchangeable pressure module that allows users to maximise operational specific depth requirements.

Powered by hybrid wind, solar and diesel propulsion system, the MAS vessel will carry research pods for sensors and scientific instrumentation.

Scientists coordinated by ProMare, with support from IBM, will use the data from the research pods to advance understanding in several areas including: maritime cybersecurity, marine mammal monitoring, sea level mapping and ocean plastics.

MAS project director, Brett Phaneuf, said:

“We’ve worked with Valeport for many years, integrating their equipment onto our marine vehicles, and when it comes to the Mayflower Autonomous Ship, we prise reliability, precision, low power and exemplary data above all else, and the uvSVX and VA500 Altimeter provide exactly what we need to safely navigate and enable great science at sea.”

Valeport’s head of sales, Kevin Edwards, also noted: “With sensor technology guiding the MAS decision making, this is an exciting demonstration of autonomous seafaring technology and we are immensely proud that our instruments are involved in the project.”