Nearshore Class Unmanned Surface Vehicles: The Last-Mile Solution for Arctic Littoral-Zone Surveys

Stewart, Helen (Fugro USA) | Khadjinova, Rada (Fugro USA) | Brumley, Kelley (Fugro USA) | Earl, Shannon (Fugro USA) | Waugh, Alex (Fugro New Zealand) | Thomas, Nick (Fugro New Zealand) | Waugh, Bob (Fugro New Zealand) | Rycroft, David (Fugro New Zealand)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Challenges and complications of hydrographic and marine surveys in the last mile between sea and shore are compounded in the Arctic by remoteness, lack of infrastructure facilities, difficult transport, and environmental hazards. Without safe, cost-effective, and technologically fit-for-purpose survey solutions, these last-mile surveys are often neglected or inadequate for their design purposes. These special challenges pose similar difficulties to littoral marine and freshwater surveys in temperate New Zealand. To meet these challenges, experienced surveyors from the New Zealand branch of a global survey company partnered with a New Zealand-based naval architect to design and build a seaworthy class unmanned surface vehicle (USVs) for work in remote and isolated environments. The new nearshore class USV is easy to transport by any commercial means, inexpensive, safe for a two-person crew to operate, and has a customizable payload with large capacity for its size.

The ability to work safely in harsh, remote environments at a reasonable cost make the new nearshore class USV an attractive and cost-effective option for surveying in the Arctic. This paper presents information on this survey solution and discusses advantages to USVs as a survey platform in Arctic environments.