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

49 Sea-Kit X-Class | Digest ‘directed’, which essentially means that all navigational decisions are made by the human operator from a remote location. For deployments lasting less than 12 hours, the vessel can be operated by a team of two, while for anything longer the watch team must comprise at least four. The vessel’s remote control user interface software, known as G-SAVI, was designed and developed by Sea-Kit. “As well as directing the autopilot in its many different control modes, the software operates multiple systems on board and can easily be reconfigured for multiple vessel configurations,” Simpson says. G-SAVI provides feedback for all the onboard systems, from the navigation lights and day shapes (internationally recognised silhouettes displayed to indicate vessel status) to the launch cages, batteries and generators, along with logged data to reveal trends or developing problems. There is also environmental data including water temperature and data from motion reference units to monitor pitch and roll motions, and to check that the X-Class is trimming down, as required for AUV/ROV launch and recovery. The X-Class is also equipped with a suite of microphones inside and out, which provide valuable extra information, such as when to turn into a strong wind. “You can hear the generator and thrusters going under a bit more strain when that happens,” Simpson says. At the moment, the only autonomous function the software provides is to hold position and make the relevant COLREG (collision regulation) signal changes when comms are lost. Therefore, full operator supervision by a qualified mariner with at least a commercially endorsed offshore yacht master’s licence is required. For situational awareness and navigation, the operator relies on a suite of sensors that includes two differential GNSS receivers with an inertial reference system, maritime radar, high- definition CCTV, a thermal imaging camera and an automatic identification system. There is also a VHF digital selective calling radio for direct comms with other vessels. Water and other environmental monitoring sensors are integrated as well. Sea-Kit is working towards adding more autonomy to the system, with the aim of achieving AL4 ‘monitored’ status over the next few years. This rating means decisions are routinely made by onboard software but with a human in the loop and able to take control. In addition to the Hugin, payloads integrated so far include Kongsberg’s EM304, EM710 and EM2040 multi- beam sonar systems, and Sonardyne’s Sprint-Nav integrated inertial navigation system and Doppler velocity log, all of which are mounted on the hull or gondola, or stowed/mounted in the payload bay. In the XPRIZE competition, Teledyne CARIS’ Mira AI and CARIS Onboard software were used to enable the autonomous survey and real-time sonar data processing respectively. Planned improvements include integrating more advanced obstacle avoidance sensors, higher capacity comms systems and additional positioning sensors such as a standalone Doppler velocity log, as well as better dynamic positioning capabilities. Now a fully developed and commercially available product, the X-Class has been tested in the UK, near Oslo in Norway and in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, proving line-of- sight and over-the-horizon remote control and AUV launch/recovery, remotely controlled navigation in congested waters and extended ocean survey operations. All that remains is to demonstrate commercial ROV operations and to deliver fully classed vessels for commercial use. Unmanned Systems Technology | June/July 2021 Overall length: 11.75 m Beam: 2.2 m Operational height: 7 m Transport height: 2 m Weight: 11,200 kg Hull and superstructure material: aluminium, protected by epoxy tiecoat and anti-fouling paint Range: 12,000 nautical miles Endurance: 200 days Navigation: two differential GNSS receivers with an inertial reference system, high-precision acoustic positioning underwater system Sensors: optional multi-beam echo sounding equipment, maritime radar, two interior and six fore and aft cameras, one night-vision camera Some key suppliers Thermal imaging camera: FLIR Systems Multi-beam sonar systems: Kongsberg Maritime broadband radio: Kongsberg Automatic positioning system: Kongsberg Heading, attitude and positioning sensors: Kongsberg Acoustic positioning and control system: Kongsberg Satellite comms: Intallian Satellite comms: Thales Satellite comms: Iridium Satellite comms: Inmarsat Inertial navigation system: Sonardyne Doppler velocity log: Sonardyne Radar: Simrad Sonar data processing software: Teledyne CARIS Cloud-based AI platform: Teledyne CARIS Specifications