Developed by iXblue, DriX has been designed to provide a true extension of survey capability from shallow and inshore waters to a full offshore environment

A new, internationally-patented 8-metre Autonomous Unmanned Surface Vessel that revolutionises the productivity of hydrographic survey vessels. DriX has been designed with autonomy in mind at every stage, from launch and recovery to data acquisition. With its impressive endurance and capability of high speeds even in challenging sea environment; the on-board control system is able to conduct complex and lengthy surveys by following a pre-planned route, whilst maintaining complete awareness of the surrounding risks and adapting its behaviour to compensate for changing conditions, obstacles and requirements.

The overall performance provides:

  • Exceptional manoeuvrability within the wind farm environment
  • Ease of operation and control throughout
  • Excellent data quality at increased speed
  • Simple and rapid deployment to site

Constructed from vacuum infused composite, the AUSV is 7.7m long, with a breadth of 0.7m and a draft of 2m. A 37HP diesel engine provides propulsion whilst maintaining a quiet acoustic signature for optimum data collection. Control options include full- and semi-autonomous modes, as well as full remote control from a pilot on the mothership.

Initially equipped with a dual-head Teledyne RESON IDH T50 multibeam echosounder, and with permanently installed PHINS INS and corrected GNSS receivers, DriX has endurance of up to seven days. The custom-built gondola that houses the hydrographic payload is set at a depth of 2m below the surface, giving DriX exceptional seakeeping ability, with acquisition possible in seas with significant wave heights up to 2.5m. The data is available in real time on the mothership, where personnel can make adjustments to the setup or line plan as required.

Displacement1.4 tonnes
Max. speed14 knots
EnduranceUp to 7 days
Control optionsFully autonomous, semi-autonomous, direct remote control
CommunicationsWiFi, radio, SATCOMS