Unmanned Systems Technology 038 l Skyeton Raybird-3 l Data storage l Sea-Kit X-Class USV l USVs insight l Spectronik PEM fuel cells l Blue White Robotics UVIO l Antennas l AUVSI Xponential Virtual 2021 report

44 A lthough the launch and recovery of ROVs and AUVs from ships at sea is well-established, deploying them from vessels that are themselves unmanned and under the control of a crew in an operations centre – which could be on the other side of the world – is at the cutting edge of the technology. That is one capability that Sea-Kit has demonstrated with its X-Class USV, a 12 m, 11.2 t machine developed for over-the-horizon support of surveillance, monitoring and environmental data collection missions. Because the uncrewed vessel can head out from a port to an area of operations thousands of miles away and remain on station for months, it represents a less costly alternative to a manned support ship. Competitive mapping genesis Inventor and Sea-Kit CEO Ben Simpson says the idea was triggered by a call from a team preparing to compete for the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE in 2018- 19. This team, which went on to win, was led by alumni of the Nippon Foundation and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Peter Donaldson looks at how this USV, which allows over-the-horizon deployment of deep-sea AUVs, was designed No hands on deck June/July 2021 | Unmanned Systems Technology At 12 m long and displacing 11.2 t, the X-Class USV is designed as an unmanned mothership for ROVs and AUVs capable of operating in the open ocean under remote control from a shore base (Courtesy of Sea-Kit)