Unmanned Systems Technology 022 | XOcean XO-450 l Radar systems l Space vehicles insight l Small Robot l BMPower FCPS l Prismatic HALE UAV l InterDrone 2018 show report l UpVision l Navigation systems

22 D esigned for data gathering missions lasting weeks in open water, the XO-450 is a 750 kg, 4.5 m composite unmanned catamaran that supports large, power-hungry sensors with its hybrid diesel-electric and solar power plant. It has been developed over the past 18 months as the centrepiece of start-up XOcean’s data-as-a-service business model, through which the company will support fisheries, offshore construction, data harvesting and environmental monitoring operations. This combination of a service concept and purpose-built USV is the brainchild of CEO James Ives, a mechanical engineer who cut his teeth in the automotive industry working on fluid mechanics, combustion systems and thermal transfer. He then worked at management consultancy Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) for several years, subsequently serving as CEO of a marine energy business for more than a decade, an experience that sparked the data-as-a-service idea. “Whenever you do any project in the ocean you have to collect data,” he says. “It’s terribly expensive, it takes a long time and it’s difficult, and I felt there had to be a better way of doing it.” Mostly, these are monotonous operations that require a vessel to run survey grids over large areas of ocean – an ideal operation for a robot. The company envisages operating in five key areas initially. The first is in fisheries, using sonar to measure fish stocks to help nations manage quotas, for example. The second is bathymetric surveys in support of offshore construction. The third target market is harvesting data from pre-positioned seabed sensor networks, uploading recorded data via acoustic modems. Fourth is the collection of oceanic meteorological data, while the fifth area involves reading environmental data from tagged fish, marine mammals or Peter Donaldson examines the development of this hybrid USV, which is designed with ‘data as a service’ for maritime customers in mind At your service October/November 2018 | Unmanned Systems Technology The XO-450’s catamaran design was chosen to provide a stable platform to enable industrial-grade sensors to gather large quantities of high-quality data, which is what XOcean guarantees its clients (Courtesy of XOcean)