SEA-KIT USV successfully completes 22 days of offshore operations in the Atlantic Ocean

18 August 2020
SEA-KIT’s 12m Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) ‘Maxlimer’, image credit: Sea-Kit International

Working collaboratively across eight different countries, SEA-KIT have recently been able to gather invaluable bathymetric data by kind permission of the mission sponsors. Members of the Nippon-Foundation-GEBCO Alumni worked remotely on a 24/7 shift rotation to plan the data gathering mission, monitor the sonar, execute the data gathering and process the data.

Read the Sea-Kit press release.

PRESS RELEASE – for immediate release

SEA-KIT USV successfully completes 22 days of offshore operations in the Atlantic Ocean

Tollesbury/Essex, 18 August 2020: SEA-KIT's 12m Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) 'Maxlimer' returned to Plymouth on Friday after 22 days of remote survey operations on Europe's continental margin.

Since late July USV 'Maxlimer' has mapped approximately 1000sq. km of ocean floor, controlled around-the-clock by SEA-KIT via satellite communications from its Remote Operation Centre in Tollesbury, Essex. Notably, the uncrewed vessel also returned to Plymouth with its fuel tank still around a third full.

The successful completion of this project is a major achievement for the British SME, clearly demonstrating the capabilities of their remotely-controlled USV design in terms of over-the-horizon operation, endurance and ocean-going ability.

Peter Walker, Director of Technology at SEA-KIT, commented: "We are pleased and relieved to welcome Maxlimer back to Plymouth after what has been a tense but exciting few weeks. The project's overall aim was to demonstrate the capabilities of current technologies to survey unexplored or inadequately surveyed ocean frontiers and despite the planning challenges we faced due to COVID-19, I feel that we have done that. We have proven the true over-the-horizon capability of our USV design and the team are exhausted but elated!"

Named UTAS (Uncrewed Trans-Atlantic Survey) and co-funded by the European Space Agency under its Business Application programme, the project was originally planned to be trans-ocean. However, due to travel restrictions and other planning complications resulting from COVID-19, this was ultimately not possible.

SEA-KIT worked collaboratively with a number of industry partners on the UTAS project. Fugro, Global Marine Group, Map the Gaps, Teledyne CARIS, Woods Hole Group and The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 project all played a part in its successful completion, contributing towards Seabed 2030's mission to have 100% of the ocean floor mapped by 2030.

The proven ability to conduct remote survey operations with USVs has many beneficial applications across the offshore sector. For example, critical tasks such as trans-ocean cable route surveys (needed to meet the increase in demand for data communications) can be completed without risk to personnel and with significant savings on mobilisation and operational costs when compared to executing the same task with crewed vessels.


Notes to editors:

About SEA-KIT International

SEA-KIT International is a British SME providing hi-tech, USV (uncrewed surface vessel) solutions to the maritime and research industries for deployment in harsh offshore environments. With expertise in the design and build of hybrid vessels from its parent company, Hush Craft, SEA-KIT aims to be the UK's leading USV designer and developer, focused on over-the-horizon deployment of systems and sensors for a number of use cases. These include maritime logistics, environmental management and the security and monitoring of offshore assets, as well as marine inspection and efficient survey of the earth's ocean floors. Through its collaboration with industry partners, SEA-KIT is sharply focused on driving down the cost of geo-data collection and reducing the sector's carbon emissions.

Media contact:

Amanda Çetin | Tel +44 (0)7518 049251 | Email