Published: 16 August 2019 16 August 2019
Equinor and Autonomous Marine Systems (AMS) have launched an autonomous sailing platform to which is able to gather wind data needed for developing offshore wind projects.
The wind- and solar-powered Datamaran vessel, developed by AMS, carries a LiDAR device to collect data on wind and weather conditions at remote offshore wind lease areas. Over the last 18 months, Equinor and Massachusetts-based AMS have conducted studies and built prototypes to test the system.
The Datamaran operates autonomously without a manned support vessel, continuously transmitting acquired data and vessel health status to onshore operations via fault-tolerant communication channels.The vessel is propelled by a rigid wing sail while the LiDAR, navigation, and communication systems are powered by deck and sail mounted solar panels and large batteries. Standard integration interfaces enable broad flexibility in sensor payload and survey types such as standard meteorological ocean, bathymetric and hydrographic, current and wave characteristics, avian and marine mammal detection, and alerting. They have named this class of vessels ‘Njord.’