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Mariner X USV: An unmanned vessel of true opportunity

Maritime Robotics' new multi-purpose Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) platform, the Mariner X, offers a uniquely configurable design and is built to deliver high-quality data acquisition at sea.

Posted by:
Vera Susanne

June 21st, 2022

Side view of an orange-colored Mariner X USV in the open ocean.

The Mariner X in action.

Wielding Maritime Robotics market-leading software and support for a wide range of sensors and other equipment of the operator's choice, the Mariner X is the company's most configurable and optimizable USV platform to date.

The first operator of the new Mariner X USV platform is Argeo. Named Argus, Argeo’s first unmanned survey and inspection vehicle will exploit the strong demand for accurate ocean mapping, especially within the booming offshore wind market. The Argus USV will do advanced mapping and inspection services using robotics and autonomous ocean space technology for offshore and energy projects in water depths from 2–200 meters.

Argeo has been a fantastic partner in the development of the Mariner X platform. The result is a new and uniquely configurable vessel designed from scratch to make offshore and coastal operations safer and more cost-effective while also reducing the carbon footprint.
- Vegard Hovstein, CEO of Maritime Robotics.

Large modular deck space

The Mariner X's substantial astern deck space fits two actuated moonpools and two dedicated sensor positions, allowing for a wide range of surface and sub-surface sensors and other payloads.

Based on our own experiences and feedback from our customers, we wanted to make a vessel able to handle multiple survey sensors below the hull. We also wanted a configurable deck space to allow for towed sensors, cargo, or other applications.
- Vegard Hovstein

The 5 m2 deck space also has a rail system for field-swappable payload systems. It easily facilitates mounting custom payloads such as survey navigation, satellite communications, deck generators, winches, deck cargo, and more.

Higher quality, lower costs

Another innovative feature of the Mariner X is the hull and superstructure design, based on a collaboration between Maritime Robotics, Ulstein Design, and local boat designer Innovation JBA. The shape of the foreship facilities improves force distribution, and the tampered front enables a gentler displacement to allow better stability during poor weather conditions.

This translates to fewer disturbances and thus better data quality when surveying.

says Hovstein.

Combined with the possibility of multiple sensors and Maritime Robotics's well-proven SeaControl Autonomy System for enhanced vessel control, the Mariner X platform supports unprecedented data quality while also reducing the risks and costs of operations.

In addition to SeaControl, several other systems are in place to ensure safe and steady operations. The SeaSight system allows operators to monitor the surroundings and receive collision avoidance warnings based on AIS, radar overlay, and visual live stream video.

The strong polyethylene hull makes the Mariner X a stable, unsinkable, and near-maintenance-free platform capable of handling extreme weather conditions. Tuned radome protects the antennas from harsh elements such as icing in arctic environments.
- Joel Pederick, Product Manager for Mariner and Mariner X at Maritime Robotics.

Reduced carbon footprint

At a length of 9 meters, the Mariner X is about 3 meters longer than its Mariner-class sibling. However, it still fits within a container footprint for easy long-distance transport. It can be launched from ports and transit offshore or deployed from a vessel-based davit for easy deployment.

Operators of the Mariner X will be able to mount Multibeam Echo Sounders (MBES), Sub-bottom Profilers (SBP), and an acoustic modem, all on the same vessel. The Mariner X can also field sensor packages traditionally mounted on large vessels of opportunity.

"As a multi-purpose platform, the Mariner X is designed to replace or operate as a force multiplier in conjunction with a conventional crewed survey vessel. This can significantly reduce both the costs and environmental impact of operations at sea," says Pederick.

The innovative design also features improved fuel efficiency and more stable operations at lower speeds, which reduces power consumption and emissions.

Main Characteristics of the Mariner X USV:

  • Highly configurable with two actuated moonpools and two dedicated sensor positions

  • Innovative modular design with 5 m2 astern deck space

  • Deck rail system for field-swappable payloads

  • Range of over 2500 NM at 4-knot survey speed

  • Endurance up to 25 days (engine maintenance guidelines at 250 hours/10 days)

  • Hull design reduces disturbance for increased stability and data quality

  • Fits within a container footprint and uses single-point lift for easy launch and recovery

  • Can be launched from port and transit offshore or deployed from a vessel-based davit

  • Tuned radome-enclosed antennas for better protection in arctic environments

  • Pre-fitted with integrated GNSS compass, Class B AIS, radar, cameras, WiFi, and LTE Modem