For the first time, a completely unmanned vessel will moor in Europe. On 10 November, Fugro’s Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) Blue Essence visits Hoek van Holland, the Netherlands. The vessel developed by the geo-data specialist is 12 metres long and can be piloted from shore.

The Blue Essence’s modular design allows it to be used for different inspection and survey tasks with real-time data transfer to a team onshore. This means it can inspect wind farms at sea for example. According to Fugro, the use of an unmanned vessel can save up to 95 per cent on fuel compared to a traditional vessel. In short, these unmanned ships make a significant contribution to reducing emissions in the shipping industry.

The vessel is operated from one of Fugro’s Remote Operation Centres (ROC). The USV is equipped with Fugro’s Blue Volta, an advanced electric remotely operated vehicle (eROV), and a launch and recovery system. It is the first ROV developed with deployment from an USV. The eROV has a high definition camera and sensors installed for capture of high-quality images of pipeline and subsea structures. Clients can be in their office, observing the operation and inspection data in near to real-time, removing the need to be offshore.

Also read: Fugro to use condition monitoring for entire fleet