The electric AUV seeks to revolutionize the mapping of the seabed


While the Biden administration seems serious about wanting to move the United States away from fossil fuel consumption, the rapid development of sustainable energy production is becoming a major industrial challenge – and a giant business opportunity. A Richmond, California-based company is looking to embrace the two with a fully electric autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that can dramatically speed up the seabed mapping needed to build offshore wind turbines.

Electric AUV can reduce seabed mapping mission time by 10

Marine drone startup Bedrock believes its electronic AUV can do a lot of help in the push for sustainable energy in the United States by reducing the time it takes for mapping to allow wind turbines to be built. “Slashing” in this case means up to 10 times less. Bedrock’s small submarines can travel up to 56 miles offshore and operate up to 1,000 feet underwater. These specifications easily fall into the maximum depths of 160 feet to which the current foundations of offshore wind farms are limited. In addition to faster work, the wide array of sensors that each of the underwater craft carries allows them to collect more comprehensive and deeper data at reduced mapping costs.

“Current ocean mapping techniques are ship-based, generally limited to the surface and time consuming, making them expensive and harmful to the environment,” Anthony DiMare, co-founder and CEO of Bedrock, told the great TreeHugger sustainability feature site. “Bedrock dramatically reduces the time associated with mapping and data collection, and improves efficiency by leveraging AUVs and a cloud-based data management method. Our new mapping and data collection techniques will help support an explosion in offshore wind energy projects, helping to make the government’s ambitious carbon neutrality goals a reality. ”

If Bedrock’s electric AUV can perform this seabed mapping magic as part of accelerated wind turbine construction, it could end up having monumental consequences for the future of sustainable energy development in the United States. . Consider the issues involved.

Last May, the Biden administration announced broad plans to expand offshore wind power production by building new platforms around the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts. This project aims to generate 30,000 megawatts of additional clean energy that will come, in part, from 2,000 additional offshore wind turbines that will be built by 2030. This will require many studies prior to the construction of the world’s ocean floors, only 20 of which % have been mapped so far. That leaves a lot of underwater terrain to analyze, and not a lot of time to do it.

The electric submarine offers advanced technological speed and remains attentive to the surrounding marine environment

Bedrock wants to help the United States meet this 2030 deadline by speeding up the current data collection and processing procedures which can take up to a year. To do this, its electric AUVs transmit seabed mapping data directly to a cloud-based server. The platform is accessible to Bedrock customers, who can start working with the information immediately, and from anywhere in the world it is transmitted from.

“Offshore wind projects typically require between 3 and 6 surveys before construction can even begin,” DiMare told TreeHugger. “With Bedrock’s survey AUVs, that time is drastically reduced, sometimes up to a factor of 10.

Given the environmental goals of seeking greater energy sustainability, Bedrock also reflected on how to do its job with minimal risk to marine life. Its electric AUV only travels at a speed of between 2.4 and 3.5 mph, reducing the risk of collision with sea creatures or other marine life during their seabed mapping missions. They also use small sonar sensors kept as close to the bottom as safety permits, and operate them at frequencies proven not to harm ocean life.


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