Exail debuts new transoceanic USV in London

Exail debuts new transoceanic USV in London

The latest innovation from Exail, a prominent provider of maritime autonomy solutions, is the DriX O-16, a transoceanic uncrewed surface vessel (USV). With an impressive autonomy range of 2,500 nautical miles and a robust naval architecture capable of withstanding severe ocean conditions, the DriX O-16 is designed for extended operations lasting up to 30 days. Additionally, it offers the flexibility to deploy multiple payloads and subsea assets.

Exail’s latest flagship was unveiled at Oceanology International 2024 in London during a product launch event that was well-attended by both press and public, demonstrating significant interest. Oceanology International is the world’s foremost gathering of professionals and decision-makers in ocean exploration, monitoring, development and conservation, spanning the seabed to the surface and beyond.

Versatile payloads in submerged gondola

Drawing on the proven success of the established DriX USV, which made its debut in 2017 and has amassed over 150,000 operational hours in 19 countries, the new DriX O-16 USV represents a significant advancement. Equipped with hybrid propulsion, redundant architecture, advanced communication systems and AI-driven obstacle detection and avoidance capabilities, it sets a new standard for reliability and operational efficiency. With enhanced multi-mission capabilities, this transoceanic USV enables autonomous operations at sea with unprecedented versatility.

The DriX O-16’s adaptability extends to its capacity for launching and recovering various subsea assets, including remotely operated towed vehicles (ROTVs), inspection-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Its submerged gondola can accommodate a diverse array of payloads such as deep-water multibeam echosounders (MBES), sub-bottom profilers (SBP) and acoustic subsea positioning and communication systems (USBL). This makes it highly suitable for comprehensive oceanographic and hydrographic surveys, geophysical explorations, UXO surveys and inspections of subsea infrastructure, particularly in scenarios necessitating the deployment of multiple robotic systems.

Over the horizon

The DriX USVs are making waves for their flexibility, seamlessly switching between remote-controlled and supervised autonomous operations. In the latter, they take charge of missions while a pilot keeps a watchful eye, whether nearby or beyond the horizon. When operating fully over the horizon, these Exail USVs get smart, picking the best communication mode based on the surroundings and making sure that critical data gets top priority.

“With this next-generation transoceanic low-carbon USV, we are pushing back the limits of ocean exploration, empowering collaborative autonomy between surface and subsea drones while minimizing human exposure at sea,” explained Olivier Cervantes, vice president Maritime Autonomy Solutions at Exail. “The introduction of our new DriX O-16 truly marks a significant stride in autonomous maritime operations, as multi-robot missions are definitely where we see the maritime industry and our own developments leaning in the coming years.”

The launch ceremony for the DriX O-16 USV at Oceanology International in London.
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