ABS issues first-ever class certificate for Saildrone Voyager USV

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has issued the first-ever class certificate for a commercial, uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) for the Saildrone Voyager.


As explained, classification is a major milestone for Saildrone, allowing the Voyager to operate in the ports and waters of countries that require vessels to be classed by organizations such as ABS.

The 10-meter (33-foot) Voyager is Saildrone’s mid-size platform in its rapidly expanding fleet. It carries a payload for coastal ocean mapping operations, including high-resolution MBES and Innomar SBP systems. Its ISR sensor suite for defense applications includes a smart camera array, digital radar, and sub-surface passive acoustics.

Saildrone USVs are equipped with a suite of sensors and instruments, enabling them to collect a wide range of ocean data above and below the sea surface. They are primarily powered by wind and solar energy, making Saildrone USVs environmentally friendly.

“Uncrewed drone vehicles have huge potential to change the way we operate at sea and are a first step towards commercial autonomous vessels. ABS is a leader in this space, working with key partners all over the world to support the development and adoption of the technologies and strategies autonomous shipping will be built on. Saildrone Voyager is exciting technology and a key milestone on the road to more autonomous operations and we are proud to be able to use our experience to support it,” said Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

“Saildrone has spent three years maturing the Voyager design to be the industry leader in capability, reliability, and safety in the uncrewed vehicle sector,” said Richard Jenkins, CEO and founder of Saildrone.

“This classification from the American Bureau of Shipping defines the new gold standard for autonomous systems and underscores the maturity of our technology.”

Earlier on, Saildrone joined forces with Austal to jointly identify opportunities to collaborate on the manufacture of Saildrone Surveyor, in Australia, for deployments in the Indo-Pacific region.

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