Robotics & Autonomous Systems

Find out more about our robotics and autonomous systems testing and validation facilities.

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Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

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Automation & Engineering Solutions

Find out more about our work in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

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Stay Current

Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

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Live Innovation Opportunities

There are a number of programmes identifying the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry. Solving these challenges will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. Visit our Live Innovation Opportunities page to find out if your technology has the answer.

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Unmanned Surface Vessels for Rapid Environmental Assessment in Challenging Inland Waterways and Tidal Environments

Developing unmanned surface vessels for environmental monitoring and site surveying.

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The Project

Safeguard Nautica's USV is prepared for trials offshore wind, wave and tidal energy unmanned surface vehicle robotics autonomous systems

HydroSurv’s prototype unmanned surface vehicle is prepared for trials.

Offshore wind, wave and tidal project developers need high-quality survey data to optimise generation and make smarter decisions around construction, operations and maintenance.

Established techniques for gathering that data are often expensive and time-consuming, though – making unmanned survey acquisition platforms one of the priorities for the sector.

It’s one of the reasons we’re working with Exeter-based marine innovation experts HydroSurv on a pioneering project that will develop a pair of unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for carrying out environmental monitoring and surveys.

Building on HydroSurv’s first-phase prototype, the Unmanned Surface Vessels for Rapid Environmental Assessment in Challenging Inland Waterways and Tidal Environments project also involves partnership with Reygar and Core Blue, suppliers of control and communications systems respectively.

The Catapult will work in partnership with the consortium to develop the first-generation vessels, creating two new integrated USV systems: one for inland waters and a larger vessel for more extreme tidal and near-shore environments.

During the project, multiple demonstrations will be carried out at a variety of sites, including a tidal energy project off the Isle of Wight, showcasing the versatility of the USVs for environmental and site characterisation campaigns. Adaptable payloads will be selected to feed back accurate, bankable data in turbulent, high-current waters.

The Catapult will carry out design work on the new masts, and our hydrodynamic modelling team will be analysing the data gathered to create high-value outputs for end-user clients. We’ll also be helping HydroSurv to commercialise its USVs and better understand their applications in offshore renewables.

Download our Autonomous Systems: Barriers to BVLOS A&I paper



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