ABS Grants AIP for Saildrone Uncrewed Surface Vehicles
Classification society the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has issued approval in principle (AIP) certificates to Saildrone, including the first AIP for a 10-meter commercial uncrewed surface vehicle (USV), the Saildrone Voyager. Approvals were issued to Saildrone for both the Voyager and Surveyor ocean data collection platforms. The AIP is an important step to class for Saildrone’s vehicles.
Alameda, Calif. based Saildrone provides ocean data using uncrewed vehicles, with nearly 25,000 days at sea and nearly 1,000,000 miles sailed. Primarily powered by wind and solar energy, Saildrone’s Voyager and Surveyor USVs are an environmentally friendly, cost-efficient solution for persistent data collection above and below the sea surface.
Saildrone founder and CEO Richard Jenkins said, “Saildrone is proud to be the first to receive an AIP certificate for a 10-meter uncrewed vehicle from an internationally respected maritime classification agency. Saildrone technology is one of the most mature solutions available, and yet international regulations around uncrewed maritime systems are only in their infancy. Therefore, it is essential that Saildrone be proactive in working with the American Bureau of Shipping to lead the industry, on and off the water.”
AIP is a formal review process that evaluates the design concept of a new technology, product, or system against ABS rules and applicable regulations as an important first step to full classification.
Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, said, “ABS is leading the industry in supporting autonomous projects and assisting innovative companies like Saildrone. ABS understands that autonomous technologies are not stand-alone products but fully integrated with vehicle infrastructure and the result of numerous advancements in a wide variety of mechanisms including sensors, imaging, connectivity, machine learning and more.”
Saildrone has already begun to scale production of its Voyager and Surveyor USVs to meet increasing demand for uncrewed ocean data collection. The company has partnered with Janicki Industries and Seemann Composites to build the Voyager wings and hulls and Austal USA to build Surveyor hulls. Surveyor wings will continue to be built at Saildrone’s headquarters in Alameda, Calif.