iXblue has completed a bathymetric survey of the Saint Nazaire offshore wind farm using its DriX uncrewed surface vehicle (USV).

Relying on 4G and satellite communication, the operation – located 20km off the West coast of France – was remotely conducted by the iXblue teams of surveyors from their remote control centre in La Ciotat, southeast France.


Members of the iXblue team at the company’s remote control centre Photo: iXblue

“We are pleased to have proven, once again, that the deployment of autonomous platforms is the way to go to deliver safe, carbon neutral and efficient offshore survey,” said David Vincentelli, head of iXblue Sea Operations division.

“From our experience deploying our DriX USV, we know that replacing traditional survey vessels with uncrewed platforms is key to delivering unmatched efficiency and data quality in complex environments such as offshore wind farms.”

The survey verified the seabed conditions before the deployment of Jan De Nul Group’s Vole au Vent offshore jack-up installation vessel.

Despite challenging offshore conditions, with strong winds and side currents, as well as an obstructed site, with around 70 monopiles already installed and several construction vessels mobilised on site, iXblue DriX USV, fitted with a Kongsberg EM2040 MBES, managed to gather accurate and high-resolution bathymetric data.

The DriX USV conducted the survey without the need of a support vessel, relying on its situational awareness and obstacle avoidance system.