Fugro has expanded its 12-metre Blue Essence uncrewed surface vessel (USV) fleet with the addition of Fugro Vaquita. The latest Blue Essence has earned Category 0 approval from the UK Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), the highest level of approval for autonomous vessels.

The Blue Essence USV is now the largest USV to operate fully remotely, with unrestricted access, to support marine projects further offshore while enhancing safety and environmental performance.

Also read: Fugro acquires USV specialist SEA-KIT

Remote operations

Both USV and electrical remotely operated vehicle (eROV) will be remotely controlled from Fugro’s global network of remote operations centres (ROCs).

This remote operation capability not only removes personnel from potentially high-risk offshore environments, but also significantly reduces the carbon footprint of operations, with the USV’s emissions up to 95 per cent lower than conventional support vessels.

Operators can also monitor and control the vessels from anywhere in the world, enabling faster decision-making and access to near real-time data. This information is crucial for optimising project schedules, ensuring safety, and maximising asset performance.

Also read: Fugro completes world’s first remote offshore wind ROV inspection

Fugro Vaquita

The Fugro Vaquita, developed in partnership with SEA-KIT, is the second of the company’s Blue Essence USV fleet to operate in European waters. In 2023, Fugro Orca completed multiple projects including several asset integrity and seabed surveys for key clients.

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