Xocean, a county Louth-based developer and manufacturer of unmanned surface vessels (USVs), has undertaken the first uncrewed vessel survey in Irish waters.
The USV undertook an environmental survey of the seabed off the Louth coast in collaboration with Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT).
The environmental research survey, utilising multi-beam echo-sounder sensors, will be used to characterise the seabed in this area of the Irish Sea.
In a statement Xocean said the undertaking represents “a major step forward in reducing the carbon footprint associated with offshore survey operations.”
The company’s carbon-neutral approach to delivering marine data has seen demand for its services grow steadily since it commenced operations in 2019, it added.
Xocean now has clients across the globe, and revenue tripled last year. The company expects to continue its growth trajectory in 2022.
To-date, Xocean has delivered over 100 projects globally for some of the world's largest companies.
In the last 12 months, the Xocean team has grown from 41 to 120 and plans to recruit 100 additional hires in the next six months.
Xocean says its USVs offer “significant benefits” that include safety, with operators remaining onshore, efficiency, with 24/7 operations, and environmental benefits, “with ultra-low emissions which together leads to significant economic savings for customers.”
The uncrewed vessel is around the size of an average car (4.5 metres) and half its weight (750kg).
It emits one thousandth of the carbon typically produced by traditional offshore survey vessels.
Throughout the survey, a team of qualified mariners and surveyors monitored the USV at all times to ensure the safety of navigation and that high quality data was collected.
“Our USV platform has demonstrated itself to be a safe, reliable and low carbon solution for the collection of ocean data,” James Ives, CEO of Xocean, said.
“We are delighted to be working in Irish waters and in collaboration with Dundalk Institute of Technology, on this important environmental project.”
Xocean was founded by Mr Ives in 2017. In 2019 the company raised almost €8m in funding to fuel its international expansion.