Zhuhai-based Yunzhou Intelligence Technology (Yunzhou-Tech), a company specialising in the design and manufacture of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), has unveiled a new oceanographic survey USV development at the Ocean Sciences and Technology Exhibition held in the port city of Qingdao.
Developed as a private venture with potential applications in scientific research, maritime security, and naval operations, the fully autonomous M80B is based on a 5.65 m-long trimaran hullform with an overall beam of 2.4 m.
Jane’s understands from a company spokesperson that the outriggers can be retracted under optimal sea conditions, transforming the M80B into a conventional wave piercing monohull for reduced hydrodynamic drag. When deployed, the additional stability offered by the outriggers enables the sea vehicle to perform sensing operations in conditions of up to Sea State 3, and survive in Sea State 5 environments.
The M80B has a full-load displacement of around 1.4 tonnes, which includes a payload capacity of 150 kg. An on-board 500W power supply supports a range of sensor equipment such as acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) multibeam echo sounders, side scan sonars, towed sub-bottom profilers, and multi-parameter sondes.
An electric propulsion system of unknown providence provides an operating range of up to 100 n miles when cruising at a speed of 6-8 kt, or around 6 hours of continuous operation.
The USV is controlled from a portable control station, from which operators can monitor and operate the mission payloads and perform mission planning. However, the spokesperson asserted that the M80B has been designed with a high level of autonomy and is capable of performing a full surveillance mission without operator input.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options ihs.com/contact