Greensea, partners to work on US Navy’s autonomous hull cleaning vessel

Greensea Systems Inc. has been awarded a contract for a 2-year Phase II option period by the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research to continue the technology development for an autonomous hull cleaning vehicle.

To achieve the goals of Phase II, Greensea has partnered with the University of Maryland Centre for Environmental Science’s Maritime Environmental Resource Center (MERC) and Armach Robotics. 

Photo: Greensea Systems

MERC will bring knowledge in biofouling control methods and will provide critical support in assessing the efficiency and efficacy of the robots’ navigation, autonomy and cleaning efficiency..

On the other hand, Armach Robotics, a sister company of Greensea, will provide the robots and robot operators to conduct field operations throughout the period of performance.

Meanwhile, Greensea will continue to focus on the navigation and autonomy refinement.

The company also noted that this is a continuation of the work that Greensea has been conducting through a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program since 2018.

“The objective of this STTR is to develop a highly autonomous robotic system for proactively cleaning ship hulls,” said Karl Lander, Armach Robotics’ Director of Regulatory Compliance and Outreach.

“The Navy is investigating this technology as a means to keep ships clear of biofouling in an environmentally sustainable way, ensuring fleet readiness and ultimately reducing hull related maintenance costs.”

Lander added that the focus of the earlier Phase I and II efforts was to design, characterize, develop and test a navigation system that can provide the required accurate on-hull navigation.

Now, the focus of the newly awarded option period is to continue to refine the navigation and autonomy technology, demonstrate the capabilities through proactive cleaning of a vessel, and deliver a complete data package for the cleaning system.