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Open Ocean Robotics’ uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) Data Xplorer was deployed in a pilot project with the Canadian Coast Guard to demonstrate its ability to accurately, sustainably, and autonomously conduct multibeam hydrographic surveys. Data Xplorer successfully surveyed underwater areas to international standards at up to 130 metre depths, operating for a total of 38 hours. The vessel was powered by a combination of solar and stored energy.

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The principal objective of this hydrographic survey was to acquire bathymetric data for the compilation of nautical charts with emphasis on the features that may affect safe navigation. Other objectives may include acquiring the information necessary for related marine navigational products and for shore zone management, engineering, and science. The purpose of the hydrographic surveying is: • Shoreline configuration- including man made infrastructure for maritime navigation all those features on shore that are of interest to mariners. • Depths in the area of interest (including all potential hazards to navigation and other marine activities). • Lake/Seabed composition • Tides and Currents • Physical properties of the water column



We offer a safer, more efficient and affordable way of collecting data compared to conventional crewed vessels. Using solar or wind power, our boats produce no greenhouse gases, noise pollution or risk of oil spills, and can travel nonstop for a year, always on and always collecting information, transforming how we research and protect our oceans.



  • First ever multibeam hydrographic survey with a solar-powered uncrewed surface vehicle (USV)

  • Quality of the data was excellent and met all criteria to meet IHO standards.

  • The USV operated reliably, and demonstrated itelf to be an efficient tool for conducting multibeam surveys.




Over the course of four days, Data Xplorer conducted 38 hours of uncrewed hydrographic survey operations.

The longest non-stop survey session (moving at 2 knots) was 12 hours, with 53% battery capacity remaining, demonstrating the vessel’s ability to survey continuously for 20+ hours.


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Remote Operations


An onshore remote operator could continually assess both navigational and survey data in real-time through Wi-Fi and cellular networks, allowing him to adjust acquisition settings and vessel control for optimal performance.

Open Ocean Robotics followed established best practices during calibration, acquisition, and data processing.


Quality Data Collection

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Third party-analysis of the data and procedures confirmed that the data exceeded International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Special Order Standards.



  • Reliable & seaworthy for continuous operations​​

  • Near real time comms & detections, over the horizon​​

  • Images, acoustic signatures, and AIS detections provide vessel monitoring​​

  • Easy to use interface to operate USV and share information with enforcement agencies



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Emily Owen, WILDAID

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