U.S.-based subsea exploration firm Ocean Infinity is launching a new company that will operate a fleet of unmanned vessels that promise to break new ground in offshore data acquisition.
The new company, called Armada, is touted as a new pioneering marine technology and data company with a focus on combining technology and sustainability.
The company will initially operate a fleet of fifteen custom-designed “unmanned surface robots” to complement Ocean Infinity’s current fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles.
“Each unmanned surface robot will serve a wide range of industries by being fully equipped to perform a multiplicity of offshore data acquisition and intervention operations down to a depth of 6,000 meters,” Ocean Infinity said in a press release. “These robot ships will be capable of remotely deploying a wide range of the latest sensors as well as AUVs and ROVs for visual and acoustic data acquisition.”
Each of the unmanned vessels will be controlled and operated via satellite by a person onshore at facilities in Austin, Texas and Southampton, UK.
“With zero people required at sea Armada operations are set to be the safest the industry has seen,” Ocean Infinity said. “The fleet approach produces up to 90% less CO2 than other conventional survey vessels, also making it the most environmentally sustainable company in the industry.”
The fleet of vessels is currently under construction and is expected to be deployable by the end of 2020, the company said.
Houston-based Ocean Infinity has been behind some of the most high-profile deep sea finds in recent years. Its track record includes locating the missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan in 2018 as well as the sunken Stellar Daisy ore carrier in 2019 in South Atlantic Ocean at a depth of 3,461 meter. The company also led the private search for the MH370 aircraft in the Indian Ocean, which ultimately turned out to be unsuccessful.
“We’ve been driven to innovate by a desire to further reduce our impact on the environment and the time people spend at sea,” said Oliver Plunkett, CEO for Ocean Infinity. “We have built an outstanding team who boast world leading expertise to take this next stage of our business forward for the benefit of our clients and all those who work with us.”
Dan Hook will serve as Managing Director of Armada.
“We are very excited to be launching Armada, which perfectly complements the other service offerings in the Ocean Infinity Group,” Hook said. “The pioneering technology makes our operations world leading in terms of environmental sustainability and safety, whilst still achieving the very highest levels of data quality and value for our clients. With no requirement for a host vessel, we are breaking new ground in the area of sub-sea technology and data. We look forward to providing our existing and new clients with a best in class solution that will be revolutionary for the industry.”