- These autonomous vehicles will be able to perform complex review and repair operations on underwater structures (ports, rigs, offshore wind turbines, etc.) without human intervention
- They will contribute to minimising the environmental impact of dredging operations and to early detection of high concentrations of pollutants
- The first trials were conducted in the Canary Islands, Norway and Romania
ACCIONA developing autonomous vehicles for underwater work within the SWARMs EUROPEAN R&D programme
The use of this type of underwater autonomous vehicles will reduce the risks associated with the construction and repair of offshore structures, work currently performed and monitored by divers. They can be used for repairs in ports, offshore platforms, offshore wind turbines, etc.
They can also be used to measure and monitor levels of suspended materials as a result of dredging operations and to measure the concentration of suspended solids in water.
These vehicles can work together in groups (or swarms, hence the project name), communicating via acoustic modems, dispensing with the need for cables or human controllers.
The project budget is €17 million. It involves 30 companies, universities and technology institutes from ten European countries (Spain, Germany, France, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, Italy); apart from ACCIONA, participants include multinationals from different industries (Leonardo, Thales, Bosch, Boskalis, Tecnalia, ...) and universities such as Madrid Technical University, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Mälardalen University Sweden and Aveiro University.
The technology has been tested in three use cases in Spain, Romania and Norway. The first tests were carried out at the PLOCAN marine laboratory (executed by ACCIONA) in Gran Canaria, where the validity of the technology was verified in terms of both robotics and telecommunications. In the Black Sea, in Romania, it was used to measure the concentration of sulphuric acid in water; the trial in Trondheim Fjord, in Norway, consisted of tracking a freshwater plume in the sea.
The project also includes designing a video-game-like user interface designed to enable vehicles to be managed without the need for specific training in robotics.
ACCIONA, S.A. Press release - ACCIONA developing autonomous vehicles for underwater work within the SWARMs EUROPEAN R&D programme. URL: https://www.acciona.com/news/acciona-developing-autonomous-vehicles-underwater-w.... [Date Accessed: 17/10/2018].
Ingeteam is participating in the first bottom-fixed foundation offshore wind turbine prototype to be installed in Spain and the first of its kind in southern Europe.
UNITECH Offshore and Equinor have entered into an agreement that UNITECH will take over the Hywind Demo floating wind turbine outside Karmøy. The turbine will be renamed and used as an infrastructure for research projects, development of new technology, and within teaching and training.