iXblue demonstrates collaborative Uncrewed surface & subsea vehicles capabilities to TotalEnergies

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Continuing to enable the use of emerging breakthrough technology, TotalEnergies has partnered with iXblue to demonstrate collaborative uncrewed capabilities for subsea inspection and asset survey operations.

Successful trials were recently conducted off the coast of La Ciotat (South of France), deploying two uncrewed platforms: iXblue DriX Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV) and Teledyne Gavia Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). Both uncrewed platforms were remotely controlled and supervised from iXblue Onshore Control Center, with iXblue DriX USV acting as a communication gateway between the onshore control center and the Gavia AUV. The two drones were able to successfully communicate together, thanks to the Gaps USBL positioning system installed within the DriX gondola, and that tracked the Gavia AUV.

iXblue surveyors supervised the operation from their Onshore Control Center

“With these sea trials, we were able to successfully demonstrate the combination of two light drones working in a collaborative mode, remotely controlled and supervised from the shore. Thanks to the DriX USV, we were able to track the Gavia AUV and send it new mission plans to allow the AUV to closely inspect some defined subsea features, all from the safety of the onshore control center,” explains Mathieu Lardeux, R&D Project Manager at TotalEnergies. “This opens up great possibilities for future multi-energy offshore developments. Replacing the use of conventional large, crewed inspection and survey vessels with uncrewed solutions such as the DriX USV will allow us to reduce offshore risk for personnel, decrease operational costs and lower the carbon footprint of our offshore operations.”

“We would like to thank TotalEnergies for choosing us for this very first collaborative operation using multi-uncrewed platforms and for trusting our DriX USV once again for their next-generation offshore operations,” adds Olivier Cervantes, VP Energy Markets at iXblue. “We are now looking forward to future sea trials with them on an offshore field to further demonstrate these collaborative uncrewed capabilities for subsea operations.”