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2022: The year that autonomy came to stay

If you follow our LinkedIn page you’d be forgiven for thinking that 2022 was all yellow. But the arrival of ‘Autonomous Surveyor’, our striking MARTAC T12 Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) in spring was only part one of the Subsea Europe Services autonomy story. Admittedly, it was a pretty exciting opener.

We provided a first look at Autonomous Surveyor during the 2nd Hamburg Marine Survey Sessions in May, an industry event we hosted along with our colleagues at Nicola Offshore. Aside from being the ideal venue to showcase the first ASV in our fleet, the event itself proved to be highly successful, with excellent presentations from industry experts informing an audience of delegates from Europe and further afield.

A yellow autonomous boat for marine surveying
The Autonomous Surveyor ASV is based on the MANTAS T12 platform from Florida-based MARTAC Systems

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that we got the chance to shakedown Autonomous Surveyor and test everything out, and by the end of June, she was ready for commercial operations. We have continued to conduct sea trials for the rest of the year, in order to demonstrate what the platform is capable of and to ensure that the autonomous controller is ready to tackle diverse missions in any conditions.

Part two of our year of autonomy came via Singapore, with delivery of our own ‘A.IKANBILIS’ Hovering AUV. We’d been working with this unique underwater inspection platform and the team from BeeX doing trials and demos for some time already, but getting hold of our own vehicle in December was a very special occasion. As you can see from this video also, we were excited enough to get working with the A.IKANBILIS that even a little snow couldn’t stop us!

A,IKANBILIS was trialled at the Nordsee One wind farm

There is of course a very serious side to the significant investment and advances we have made in autonomy during 2022. Our mission at Subsea Europe Services is to simplify the acquisition of marine data, which means autonomous vehicles and cutting-edge data platforms have become essential to our business, and that of our customers.

We believe that marine data can be acquired faster and made available for a fraction of today’s costs when the optimal combination of effective survey technologies, platforms and workflows meets a cloud-based storage, analysis and sharing ecosystem that ensures all stakeholders access to the high quality data they need, when they need it and from wherever they are in the world.

And, while 2022 has been a great year for autonomy developments at Subsea Europe Services and within the marine survey industry as a whole, there is still a lot of work left to do. 2023 will see Autonomous Surveyor and A.IKANBILIS put to work on diverse commercial projects individually and as part of a swarm approach. Our team, along with our autonomy technology partners, will continue to adapt and augment their capabilities while we also place more focus on digitalisation as the next enabler of simplified marine data.

For now though, we’re proud to see our autonomous survey and underwater inspection platform fleet take shape this year, and looking forward to developing it further during 2023. In the meantime, we wish all our colleagues, customers, partners and industry peers all the very best for the holiday season and a wonderful new year!


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