Offshore and subsea tech developer Unique Group is preparing to launch two new uncrewed surface vessel (USV) types, the Uni-Mini and Uni-Max. Both models have been engineered for surveying operations, and tailored to meet “diverse optional needs across challenging environments”, the group says.
Built in carbon fibre, the Uni-Mini measures a compact 1.68m x 0.8m and weighs 65kg, making it suitable for shallow-water surveys. This model is designed to be operated by two people, and runs on 5,000Wh of electric power – sufficient for a speed of 3-5knots and an operational charge of about four hours. The unit can be controlled remotely over Wi-Fi within a distance of 2km, and has the ability to “integrate seamlessly with a wide range of transducers and GPS systems”, Unique Group says.
Meanwhile, the 5m x 2.2m Uni-Max incorporates a hybrid power system, integrating twin Torqeedo Cruise 6.0RS engines with a 300litre diesel tank and solar PV cells – attributes that make this unit better suited to prolonged missions in remote waters. The Uni-Max matches a pair of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) hulls to a marine-grade aluminum deck, weighing in at 1,200kg overall, and is capable of speeds of 6-8knots. The Uni-Max can be controlled over wireless mesh radio at a distance of 5-8km.
Sahil Gandhi, CEO of Unique Group, comments: “These vessels prioritise compactness, ease of use and outstanding performance, reinforcing our dedication to offering solutions that enhance operational efficiency for our customers.” He adds that the Uni-Mini has already been adopted on projects in the Middle East, where it was primarily used to conduct shallow-water bathymetric surveying.
The new units join Unique Group’s existing 3m x 1.6m Uni-Pact catamaran USV, which was originally developed and launched to assist larger survey vessels in accessing hard-to-reach waters.