Tetra Tech’s marine services division has taken delivery of an Inception Class MKII Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) with a bespoke cooling system and two additional survey instrumentation pods for harbour survey projects.


Inception Class MKII Unmanned Surface Vessel. Photo: Unmanned Survey Solutions

The equipment has been supplied by UK company Unmanned Survey Solutions (USS). The first payload pod has been fitted out with an R2SONIC 2020, SBG Ekinox-D, Valeport SVS and Hypack Hysweep software for undertaking high-resolution multi-beam data acquisition. A second pod will be fitted with an EdgeTech side-scan sonar and the third with a single-beam echo-sounder, both for subsequent operation in the US.

James Williams, director of USS, said: “Our customers often have many different applications for our Inception Class USVs, but it’s almost impossible to fit small platforms with so many different sensors at the same time. That’s why we designed the MKII to incorporate an easy swappable payload pod system which was perfect for Tetra Tech, who had multiple requirements for installing a complete single-beam, multi-beam and side-scan sonar package on one USV.

“However, the most challenging aspect of this delivery was the extreme operating temperatures in country of over 40 degrees C. To meet this requirement, our engineers designed and upgraded the USV hulls with active cooling across heat sinks and the primary pod was fitted with watertight air vents, active circulation cooling and a unique solar radiation heat shield.”

Tetra Tech also purchased a modified launching trolley for slip way deployment and to act as a Launch and Recovery System (LARS) when working from high-sided quay ways.

By Rebecca Jeffrey