The Hrönn project to build the world’s first unmanned and fully-automated vessel for offshore operations has gained the expertise of marine offshore services company Bourbon through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Automated Ships, which is leading the development with Kongsberg Maritime as its primary technology partner.
Hrönn is a light-duty, offshore utility ship servicing the offshore energy, hydrographic and scientific and offshore fish-farming industries. being designed and built in Norway
It can also be utilised as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) support ship and standby vessel, able to provide firefighting support to an offshore platform working in cooperation with manned vessels.
Bourbon will use its expertise in building and operating a standardised fleet to support the development and design of the project.
Automated Ships has progressed the original catamaran design of Hrönn since the project launch on November 1, 2016, opting for a monohulled vessel of steel construction, to provide more payload capacity and greater flexibility in the diverse range of operations.
In the second phase of the project, ASL and Borbon will join forces to search the subsidies to finance the effective construction of the prototype.
Kongsberg will contribute its technology expertise and deliver all major marine equipment necessary for the design, construction and operation of Hrönn, including all systems for dynamic positioning and navigation, satellite and position reference, marine automation and communication.
The internal structural framework of the Hrönn
Its vessel control systems will be replicated at an onshore control centre, allowing full remote operations of Hrönn.
Hrönn’s Sea trials will take place in Norway’s officially designated automated vessel test bed in the Trondheim fjord and will be conducted under the auspices of DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA).
Stene Førsund, EVP Global Sales and Marketing, Kongsberg Maritime, said: “We are pleased to be collaborating with such expert partners in the development of Hrönn, a vessel that will show how digitalisation and autonomy have the potential to revolutionise the offshore services market.”
Kongsberg was recently involved in a project that saw Norway become the first nation in the world to implement maritime broadband communication on ships and aircrafts in public service.