First unmanned ship tested in Port of Rotterdam

2021/11/24 at 11:28 AM

Port of Rotterdam has become a venue of a unique project. Its infrastructure is being monitored with the help of an uncrewed surface vessel, which was developed by Fugro. The ship is controlled remotely via a satellite connection.

The Blue Essence uncrewed surface vessel (USV) is the first unmanned ship sailing in the Port of Rotterdam. It was developed by Fugro, the Dutch specialist in geospatial monitoring, for inspecting offshore assets, construction support services as well as hydrographic and geophysical surveys. “It’s the first time a remotely controlled uncrewed vessel will go to the North Sea from the Port of Rotterdam to carry out a project without any personnel on board,” said René de Vries, harbour master of the Rotterdam Port Authority.

The unmanned ship is operated from an onshore remote operations centre via a satellite connection. All the data are processed in the cloud. This allows the port operators to get almost real-time data delivery, leading to faster and more informed decision making. Furthermore, unmanned monitoring removes personnel from high-risk offshore environments to an onshore controlled centre and reduce carbon footprint by 95 per cent when compared to traditional survey methods. “Over the coming years, Fugro will further expand its fleet of USVs for safer, more sustainable solutions for marine operations,” noted Erik-Jan Bijvank, group director for Europe and Africa at Fugro.

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