Eco Marine Power (EMP) today revealed details of its Aquarius Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) and announced that it will begin work related to the construction of a prototype. The Aquarius USV is being developed as a cost-effective unmanned surface vessel (USV) and will incorporate a number of technologies from EMP and its strategic partners. These technologies include marine computer systems and lightweight flexible marine solar panels.
The Aquarius USV will be powered by a solar-electric hybrid marine power solution which will also feature a solar panel array designed by EMP. Onboard batteries will be recharged via the solar-panel array or via ship or shore power using rapid battery re-charging technology.
The vessels computer systems will be based upon the KEI 3240 platform - this flexible marine computer system architecture has proven itself to be reliable on hundreds of vessels ranging from tugboats to ocean going bulk ore carriers and tankers.
The Aquarius USV will also be fitted with a sensor pack including several unique sensors developed by EMP. These sensors will be able to collect data from above and below the waterline. The collected data ould then either be stored on-board the vessel and/or transmitted back to a ship or shore office. Data transmission will be possible via Wi-Fi, mobile phone or satellite connections.
The Aquarius USV's shallow draft and low height will allow it to operate on urban waterways, rivers, bays and lakes in addition to being suitable for coastal waters and missions at sea. If needed, the masts can also be lowered (optional) to give the vessel a stealth capability.
Typical missions for the Aquarius USV could include monitoring harbor pollution, oceanographic surveys, maritime park surveillance, coastal border patrols and marine data collection.
A variation of the Aquarius USV will include a stand-alone version of EMP's unique EnergySail technology in order to extend the vessel's range and allow for additional sensors to be fitted.
Lab testing of technologies to be used for the Aquarius USV has already commenced and a prototype is scheduled to commence operational tests during 2015.