VESSEL REVIEW | ArchieOne – Survey boat fitted with autonomous capability

Best Unmanned Survey Vessel – ArchieOne (Photo: SAFE Boats International)

Florida-based autonomous maritime technology provider Mythos AI has taken delivery of a hydrographic survey vessel built by Safe Boats International of Bremerton, Washington.

The aluminium-hull, outboard-driven ArchieOne was built by Safe Boats under an exclusive license agreement with Stormer Marine of the Netherlands. A Stormer 26.41- by 9.84-foot (8.05- by three-metre) survey workboat with a 1.48-foot (0.45-metre) draught was selected for the integration of Mythos AI’s self-driving and autonomous hydrographic survey control system.

The incorporation of autonomous technology is part of a Mythos AI project that seeks to make inshore and coastal hydrographic surveys more accessible to a broad range of customers. The boat will be available for lease with either Mythos AI or the customer providing the sole onboard operator, an autonomous supervisor in this case. Because surveys can now be performed using fewer personnel, customers will be assured of real-time depth and channel clearance data acquisition similar to what was traditionally only possible with larger vessels and greater manpower.

Photo: Mythos AI

The system helps streamline the hydrographic survey process by eliminating the need for pre-positioning of sonars, INS, and other equipment. The customer only needs to select an area to be mapped and the boat will operate autonomously within that area, gathering high-fidelity depth data while avoiding other vessels and obstacles. The bathymetric data gathered are then accessed through the Mythos AI interface via the cloud, enabling customers to access the information within minutes.

ArchieOne was built for long-endurance surveys of up to 10 hours by cruising at seven knots, though Mythos AI said the boat’s maximum speed is rated at 30 knots. The long endurance means data gathering can be executed continuously to provide customers with enhanced situational awareness on evolving depth conditions in the port areas in which they operate. Mythos AI said this then means that draught restrictions and lightering will be minimised, cargo and routing will be optimised, and more goods will be moved on fewer ships to help save on operating costs.

ArchieOne recently underwent initial trials. Mythos AI and local non-profit National Oceans Applications Center (NOARC) operated the vessel in the Port of Gulfport of Mississippi with the aim of verifying system performance under operational survey conditions. Mythos AI said the vessel met all NOARC expectations for coastal navigation and engineering projects’ surveys.

A second boat from the same series is nearing completion while future builds are scheduled for 2023 and beyond.

Type of vessel: Survey vessel
Flag: USA
Owner: Mythos AI, USA
Designer: Stormer Marine, Netherlands
Builder: SAFE Boats International, USA
Hull construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 26.41 feet (8.05 metres)
Beam: 9.84 feet (3.0 metres)
Draught: 1.48 feet (0.45 metres)
Maximum speed: 30 knots
Cruising speed: 7.0 knots
Other electronics: Mythos AI autonomous control system
Crew: 1

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