Uncrewed Systems Technology 044 l Xer Technolgies X12 and X8 l Lidar sensors l Stan UGV l USVs insight l AUVSI Xponential 2022 l Cobra Aero A99H l Accession Class USV l Connectors I Oceanology International 2022

62 complement autonomously, demanded very precise structural development in parallel with extensive attitude analysis and control development,” Oliveira adds. “Also, an autonomous winch for deployable payloads and the ability to achieve a maximum endurance of 24 hours mean the vehicle can perform different types of missions without significant time constraints.” In addition to hydrographic survey missions such as bathymetry on lakes, rivers, reservoirs and transitional waters, CEiiA envisions the Orca performing surveillance or inspection in even shallower waters as well, as it says it is safer to use than manned platforms or those with deeper drafts. It also anticipates scientific research missions such as environmental monitoring, water quality measurements and geological or geophysical exploration as key applications, along with defence operations such as MCM or reconnaissance. The Orca can also be reconfigured to function as a launch & recovery platform for UAVs or as a comms relay system, potentially aiding in search & rescue, offshore inspection and other applications. “With this multi-mission capability in mind, one of the major challenges was to ensure that proper navigation stability is achieved during all types of operations,” Oliveira notes. “Consequently, the Orca’s navigation and control systems were deemed critical and hence given the greatest attention during the development phase of the project. “Building on the experience gathered to develop the Orca, we are securing investment to develop a larger platform for coastal and open waters. The goal is to have a set of USVs fit for operations in a complete range of marine spaces. In the shorter term we’ll investigate possible upgrades to the vehicle command & control capacities as well as to the OS and UI.” Extreme sea states The longer and further a voyage on the open sea, the more challenging the mission becomes, particularly with regard to the survival of the vessel. This challenge is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that every attempt to cross the Atlantic autonomously has failed, although at time of writing, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (investigated in detail in UST 42, February/March 2022) was halfway through its second attempt and had reached the Azores. Julie Angus, CEO of Open Ocean Robotics, understands the hazards of the Atlantic environment, having spent considerable time in small boats on the ocean, including 5 months rowing from Portugal to Costa Rica. “That experience made me recognise just how challenging it is to be on the open ocean and how those difficulties limit our ability to protect and operate on the sea,” Angus says. “We decided to develop a self-righting solar-powered USV, because we wanted to create something that could be deployed for potentially months at a time, and endure the extreme sea states it would encounter if it voyaged to remote regions, as we did in our rowboat.” The Canadian company now has multiple USVs in operation that offer services in marine mammal monitoring and maritime domain awareness, and continues to build its fleet in order to offer more services through its continuous passive acoustic, optical and other data-gathering capabilities. It has also provided its craft for hydrographic surveying, marine ocean current profiling and illegal fishing prevention missions. Its flagship Data Xplorer USV is a modularly designed single-hull craft that can house various mission sensors. Its architecture features both wet and dry sensor bays as well as an elevated sensor mount, with additional modularity in the battery storage compartment to enable increased duration at which more powerful sensors can be run, as well as a low-power mode where the vessel can be recharged by sunlight. “The Data Xplorer is very capable in high sea states, which makes it suitable for the open ocean and more challenging seas,” Angus adds. “It’s also highly controllable and has a shallow draft, allowing it to be used in nearshore as well as offshore environments. “And because its operations produce very little noise that might otherwise interfere with acoustic signals, any integrated sonars will generate highly June/July 2022 | Uncrewed Systems Technology CEiiA’s Orca has a 100 kg payload capacity and an autonomous winch system for integrating and deploying a wide range of sensors (Courtesy of CEiiA) Insight | USVs