Focus on Unmanned Craft

Focus on Unmanned Craft

Photo: SeaRobotics

For the past decade or more, unmanned craft have been developed for a variety of commercial uses, including marine science research, surveying, commercial fishing, aiding in marine rescues, and underwater exploration of shipwrecks. These ventures have built off decades of prior experience garnered mainly in the naval sector, which in turn now looks to the commercial sector for technology and platforms for a variety of mission profiles.

Because they are free of windows and other apertures, unmanned craft can easily be made self-righting and unsinkable. They can go practically anywhere, anytime, due to their comparatively smaller size, which makes them less easy to detect by radar, sonar, and other means.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles • Unmanned Underwater Vehicles • Remotely Operated Vehicles

Considerably smaller and cheaper than their manned counterparts, some that are wind, wave or solar-powered can have virtually unlimited range. Even those powered by internal combustion engines can have impressive endurance.

We have barely explored their full potential. They will no doubt become increasingly important components of both commercial and naval maritime operations.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

COLUMN | Sailing towards the self-wrecking ship [Grey Power]

– “Amid all this digital progress, the promoters invariably live in a perfect world of unreality, where voyages progress smoothly and nothing ever goes wrong.”

– by Michael Grey, regular Baird Maritime contributor and former long-term editor of Lloyd’s List

News and Gear:

Recent Important Features:

COLUMN | Battle of the s̶u̶b̶s̶e̶a̶ subsidy robots? Eidesvik, Fortescue, Fugro, Maersk, Ocean Infinity, XOcean [Offshore Accounts]

“Does anyone in the offshore industry not have their hand out for taxpayer money?”

– by Hieronymus Bosch, Baird Maritime‘s anonymous insider in the world of offshore oil and gas operations

FEATURE | Demonstrator tug completes 1,000-nautical-mile voyage on fully autonomous mode

– “The journey spanned 129 operational hours over 13 days and was commanded by licensed mariners remotely stationed 3,000 miles away in Boston.”

FEATURE | Challenging autonomous gliders in coastal seas

– “One aim of the mission was to challenge current navigational methodology, which requires continuous supervision and intervention from human pilots.”

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the unmanned vessel industries? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and April 29), so we can add it to this current edition of Unmanned Craft Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the unmanned vessel sector
  • Interviews – Owners, operators, research organisations, etc.
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the unmanned vessel world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

Alex Baird

Alex Baird is the Managing Director of Baird Maritime