Netherlands based C-Job Naval Architects has revealed its concept design for an Autonomous Underwater Maintenance Dredger (AUMD), specifically created for maintenance dredging roles in port environments.

The AUMD is equipped with a 16MWh battery pack, providing enough power for up to 12 hours of maintenance dredging. The vessel requires 55% less propulsion power than a conventional trailing suction hopper dredger and submersing the AUMD allowed the designers to reduce the suction cutting head and dredge pump power by 80%. Submersion mitigates wave motions, and the vessel needs to surface only for repair, maintenance and battery changing.

C-Job technical director Tim Vlaar said: "In order for autonomous vessels like the AUMD to become reality more work is needed and requires all stakeholders such as class, port authorities, autonomous technology companies and launching companies to come together."

By Larz Bourne