Here we are on BBC Spotlight talking about our work with The Ocean Cleanup.
An AutoNaut unmanned surface vessel (USV) has been launched alongside the revolutionary system of The Ocean Cleanup, the non-profit organisation deploying advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. The Ocean Cleanup System 001, also known as “Wilson”, is undergoing extensive sea trials approximately 350 nautical miles from San Francisco, to test the behaviour of the system. If all goes well, it will relocate to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (GPGP) where it will begin the challenge of removing tonnes of plastic debris. The role of the AutoNaut USV is to conduct long-term monitoring of the surrounding environmental conditions and provide information on “Wilson” itself.
The AutoNaut USV is operating directly alongside The Ocean Cleanup’s at-sea garbage-collection system. The small autonomous craft is overseen remotely by an operator at sea and a small team based on the south coast of England. Cameras on the AutoNaut’s mast and hull provide a live-feed view of “Wilson” both from above and below the sea surface. Onboard sensors provide a scientific understanding of the environment by measuring the sea surface waves, oceanic currents, water quality and weather conditions.
A send-off from San Francisco was seen live by viewers around the world who watched the Maersk Launcher tow The Ocean Cleanup “Wilson”, with AutoNaut on deck, under the Golden Gate Bridge. The next stage after this first two-week trial is to re-locate further offshore to the GPGP where the aim of the project is to remove 50% of ocean plastics every 5 years.
“We are thrilled to be playing a role in Boyan Slat’s vision” said Phil Johnston, BD at AutoNaut, “The AutoNaut uses only wave-power for propulsion and solar energy for sensors – so these are two very elegant, renewably-powered systems working together for an environmental cause.”
The Ocean Cleanup announces Seiche Water Technology Group with AutoNaut as its Official Partner for Environmental Mitigation Technologies.
Today, SWTG confirms it will be providing an AutoNaut unmanned surface vessel and a suite of mitigation technologies to monitor and help ensure the protection of marine-life during the first-ever deployment of an ocean clean-up system by the Dutch non-profit The Ocean Cleanup. Seiche systems for passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) will be deployed to detect and track whales and dolphins. Hydrophones deployed via PAM buoys will be installed and operated by Seiche personnel. Assistance will also be provided by SWTG to ensure that the highest environmental standards are met throughout.
The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. A full-scale deployment of the TOC systems is estimated to clean up 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years. The first cleanup system is set to be deployed mid 2018.
Mark Burnett, COO of SWTG, said: “We are extremely proud to be supporting this fantastic initiative to tackle the problem of marine litter. There is a strong ethic of environmental responsibility here at Seiche and it’s a real honour to be working with Boyan Slat and his team to minimise any negative impact on the ocean of the TOC system.”
A SWTG AutoNaut unmanned surface vessel (USV) will work alongside TOC’s revolutionary “barrier” system to provide environmental information on ocean currents, water quality, meteorology and wave height/direction. Cameras on the AutoNaut’s mast and hull will provide a live-feed view both above and below the sea surface. The aim is to provide long-term autonomous monitoring of The Ocean Cleanup’s at-sea garbage-collection system.
“This is a wonderful match of technologies” said Phil Johnston, BD at AutoNaut, “the AutoNaut will accompany The Ocean Cleanup using only wave-power for propulsion and solar energy for sensors. So, these are two very elegant, renewably-powered systems working together for an environmental cause.”
The AutoNaut and suite of PAM mitigation systems will be delivered this summer for The Ocean CleanUp’s first mission in the Pacific Ocean off California.
For an overview of the Ocean Cleanup system please view the following link:
Boris Johnson admiring one of our new generation 5-metre boats at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton today. Pete Bromley, our Technical Manager, was on hand to meet and greet the Foreign Secretary during a demonstration of autonomous marine technology.
Join us on stand A251 at Oceanology International 2018.
The Seiche Water Technology Group will be exhibiting alongside AutoNaut at Excel London, Royal Victoria Dock, from the 13th to the 15th of March 2018.
AutoNaut has just completed a short trial off the south-west coast of England to monitor the water quality by a sewage outfall.
AutoNaut demonstrated its ability to reliably operate in shallow waters whilst also recording and transmitting data. A suite of sensors aboard the USV worked in conjunction with satellite data from synthetic aperture radar (SAR).
Analysis indicated that the seawater close to the outflow was not negatively affected. The combination of technologies is pioneering for the application and the trial highlights the potential of this innovative approach to conduct long-term marine monitoring – including the reduction of costs and risks relative to conventional methods. Read the full article here.
Read the editorial article: Passive Acoustic Monitoring By USV: Wave-Propelled AutoNaut Comes Of Age in the April edition of Ocean News & Technology – click here.
A successful Ocean Business 2017 showcase for AutoNaut and our Thin Line Digital Array!
Thanks to all who visited us, as well as to the AutoNaut and Seiche teams in the office readying our demo models.
AutoNaut, Seiche, QinetiQ, Teledyne Defence and Xylem Analytics are deploying a state of the art sensor payload at the Royal Navy Unmanned exercise commencing 4th October to demonstrate its capabilities for navies around the world.
Designed and built in the UK, AutoNaut is an uncrewed surface vessel which uses the motion from the ocean to propel itself forward. The patented ‘Wave Foil Technology’ fitted to AutoNaut enables offshore deployments for multiple months harvesting data from the ocean.
As AutoNaut does not have an engine it is silent, so is the perfect platform from which to deploy passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) hydrophone arrays, providing a covert acoustic intelligence (AcInt) capability. All the energy generated by solar panels on the deck is delivered to onboard payloads, so a number of high tech sensors can be persistently deployed offshore reducing cost and risk relative to an equivalent manned vessel.
Dan Alldis, AutoNaut Ltd Design Manager comments; “This is great opportunity to demonstrate the AutoNaut in a defence environment. We will deploy the AutoNaut into the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) theme of Unmanned Warrior, where we will ‘hunt’ a number of underwater targets in realistic scenarios. We will also provide a wide range of near real time sensor data to the Royal Navy including: radar signal measurement, day and low light 360° cameras and a multi-parameter metocean sensor package.”
AutoNaut Ltd has been working with market leading sensor providers in the UK. Seiche Measurements Ltd has developed a state of the art digital passive acoustic hydrophone array. The 25m ‘thin line’ array houses up to 32 passive acoustic hydrophones, which can be individually tuned and configured at any time by a remote operator. Phil Johnston, Business Development at Seiche Measurements Ltd adds: “The AutoNaut and our digital array are the perfect match. AutoNaut’s very low self-noise and the configurable hydrophones provide a formidable ASW capability. We are looking forward to deploying this array in a simulated tactical environment, and hope we can demonstrate the effectiveness of the AutoNaut/Digital Array package.”
Teledyne Defence Ltd has developed and proven the Phobos Radar Threat Warner system over a number of years, and have been working with AutoNaut Ltd to integrate it into the AutoNaut platform. Paddy Forrest, Head of Business Development at Teledyne Defence said: “Our Phobos system provides a real time signal detection, measurement, and analysis capability between 2 – 18GHz. Phobos can detect and categorise multiple radar emitters, determine their bearing from AutoNaut, and ascertain if friendly or hostile. This information could prove to be an excellent asset for the collection of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data.”
AutoNaut Ltd has also integrated the YSI EXO2 Sonde multi-parameter water quality and oceanographic sensor. Provided by Xylem Analytics UK, this sensor coupled with a weather station can feed valuable in situ metocean measurements. David Goldsmith is the Director of Ocean and Coastal Business at Xylem Analytics UK and said “The EXO2 Sonde sensor package is a great fit within the AutoNaut, as it can pack a number of useful sensors into a small, low power instrument, especially useful for deployment in small uncrewed vehicles. The EXO2 Sonde can deliver a wide range of data, including dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, conductivity and temperature, all valuable for the Geospacial Intelligence (GeoInt) theme at Unmanned Warrior.”
AutoNaut has been working closely with the QinetiQ and their Autonomy Campaign, headed up by Bill Biggs who commented: “We have been working with AutoNaut over the last 2 years and will be providing a real time communications link for the AutoNaut in the ASW theme at Unmanned Warrior in October. The Unmanned Warrior exercise will be an excellent way for industry to show the Royal Navy and other NATO forces how uncrewed systems can extend their capability whilst reducing risk and cost.”
The Unmanned Warrior exercise is run by the Royal Navy and is an exciting opportunity for engineers and scientists to demonstrate state of the art technology. Unmanned Warrior is the biggest exercise of its kind and will explore the ideas that will help shape the future of Naval Warfare for decades to come.