New Wave Media

July 4, 2024

ACUA Ocean Outlines Details for Its ‘Pioneering’ USVs

  • Rendering for USV Maelstrom (Credit: ACUA Ocean)
  • USV PIONEER under construction (Credit: ACUA Ocean)
  • USV PIONEER under construction (Credit: ACUA Ocean)
  • Rendering for USV Maelstrom (Credit: ACUA Ocean) Rendering for USV Maelstrom (Credit: ACUA Ocean)
  • USV PIONEER under construction (Credit: ACUA Ocean) USV PIONEER under construction (Credit: ACUA Ocean)
  • USV PIONEER under construction (Credit: ACUA Ocean) USV PIONEER under construction (Credit: ACUA Ocean)

U.K.-based start-up ACUA Ocean has unveiled details for its prototype uncrewed surface vessel (USV), currently under construction, while also disclosing it is developing a larger long-endurance device.

ACUA Ocean said its new USV will be named the Pioneer-class, with the prototype first of its class vessel USV PIONEER currently in build at Aluminium Marine Consultants (AMC) on the Isle of Wight.

Future vessels in the class will be named after leading pioneers in the fields of exploration, science and technology.

The Pioneer-class USVs feature a hybrid-electric propulsion system and are being built ready to receive either a gaseous hydrogen or a low-emission diesel powertrain dependent on end-user specifications or mission parameters.

The 14-meter Pioneer-class vessel has recently been granted a UK patent for the inventiveness of the modular small water-plane twin hull (SWATH) design which enables both modularity of build and also the deployment of modular sensor and system payloads.

Research conducted by the University of Southampton, including wave tank testing and digital simulations, show the Pioneer-class USVs outperforming the seakeeping stability of a monohull vessel 3 times its length and 10 times its displacement, according to ACUA Ocean.

In addition to the Pioneer, ACUA Ocean is developing a 24 meter long-endurance high-powered USV called Maelstrom. The Maelstrom will deliver enhanced and scalable capabilities for a range of commercial and defense customers.

USV Pioneer is scheduled to start sea trials in the fourth quarter of 2024, whilst the Maelstrom is scheduled to enter service in 2026.

The February 2024 edition of Marine Technology Reporter is focused on Oceanographic topics and technologies.
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