Exail conducts first DriX O-16 sea trials

Exail conducts first DriX O-16 sea trials

Within a week, Exail’s new transoceanic uncrewed surface vessel (USV), DriX O-16, was launched, tested at sea and showcased to prominent customers and partners, including major hydrographic institutes and navies worldwide.

First unveiled last March at Oceanology International in London, the DriX O-16 hit the water on Wednesday 29 May in its home port of La Ciotat in the south of France. Following initial sea trials over the next few days, it was demonstrated in action to select partners and customers on Wednesday 5 June.

With twice the length and five times the displacement of the legacy DriX H-8, the DriX O-16 is designed for long-duration operations of up to 30 days. It boasts an autonomy of 3,500 nautical miles and can deploy multiple payloads and subsea assets. Its larger size accommodates a wide range of equipment, including multibeam echosounders (MBES), sub-bottom profilers (SBP) and acoustic subsea positioning and communication systems (USBL). Additionally, the USV features a launch and recovery system for deploying remotely operated towed vehicles (ROTVs), inspection-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). The new transoceanic USV is especially suited for full ocean depth scientific and hydrographic surveys, geophysical and UXO surveys and subsea infrastructure inspections, which often require the deployment of multiple robots.

“We are very proud to have demonstrated to our clients, in such a short time, our capacity to deliver a new fully functional USV that meets the demand for larger capacity, endurance and multi-mission capabilities while maintaining high reliability and efficiency at sea,” said Sébastien Grall, director, Maritime Autonomy Solutions at Exail. “We are convinced that platforms such as DriX O-16 will support the marine industry’s transition to more reliable and efficient autonomous operations.”

Exail has carried out the first sea trials and demonstrations of the DriX O-16. (Image courtesy: Exail)
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