Fischer Panda UK clears Mayflower vessel to cross Atlantic unmanned
Fischer Panda UK’s electric drive system and generators will power the world’s first fully automated vessel, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), on its historic maiden voyage across the Atlantic in June.
Powering the 5 ton, 50 foot trimaran during the 3,000 mile crossing from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Fischer Panda UK equipment will play a key role in the success of the inspiring project to test and advance AI and innovative data. bring together technologies that promise to transform ocean-related industries in the future.
The robotic research vessel, developed by marine research organization ProMare with IBM as the lead technology and scientific partner of the project, was launched on September 16 last year and underwent several months of sea trials.
As MAS now prepares to start in the coming days depending on the weather, Fischer Panda UK’s engines, batteries, diesel generators and associated power and control electronics are part of a range of equipment. sophisticated on board. Designed to provide a safe, flexible and economical way to collect data on the ocean, the sleek vessel also features an AI captain and is equipped with precision inertial navigation, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning. ), radar sensors, satellite communications, meteorological instrumentation, cameras and radar to enable data search and discovery on whale populations, sea level, microplastics and other research topics.
Powered by the Fischer Panda hybrid-electric propulsion system which will be primarily charged by wind and solar power, MAS is expected to complete the crossing in about 20 days at speeds of up to 10 knots – a huge leap from the 60 days of Mayflower origin at 2.5. knots over 400 years ago. The fully electric propulsion system will provide unlimited range in the sun and equatorial breeze – although Fischer Panda diesel generators will offer backup if conditions are less than ideal.
MAS is a collaborative initiative led by ProMare, a non-profit charitable organization created to promote marine research and exploration around the world. The vessel is designed by Whiskerstay and MSubs, two companies with extensive experience in the development of manned and unmanned marine vehicles, while the universities of Plymouth and Birmingham are also involved, working on some of the research modules and systems respectively. virtual / augmented reality.
Brett Phaneuf, co-founder of ProMare, said, “We wanted to buy a fully integrated, manufacturer-tested, end-to-end hybrid drive and we knew it would work. We have used Fischer Panda in the past for our military work and have found them to be very reliable.
The equipment installed and commissioned by the Fischer Panda UK engineering team includes:
- Two 48V DC generators – a 22 kW Fischer Panda AGT 22000 and a 4 kW Fischer Panda AGT 4000. Both generators are in “PVM” format, with a dry exhaust. This eliminates the need for a raw water intake, a potential source of leakage or corrosion.
- Two 48V Fischer Panda 20kW 600rpm Easybox shaft motors.
- A Mastervolt Mass Combi 48 / 3500-50 inverter and charger, supported by a battery management system for control and monitoring.
- A 38.4 kWh battery bank made up of eight of the new Mastervolt MLi Ultra 5500 lithium-ion batteries, providing 800 Ah at 48 V.
Barry Fower, Managing Director of Fischer Panda UK, said: “This project will have huge implications for the shipping industry and we will eagerly follow the Atlantic crossing with the rest of the world. We are seeing that unmanned vessels are playing an increasingly important role in many different industries as interest in our systems for these applications continues to grow. We are proud to see the reliable Fischer Panda equipment aboard the Mayflower, alongside some of the most innovative systems and advanced artificial intelligence technology. “
With no human captain or crew on board, the MAS was designed as a suitable platform for many years to deepen understanding of critical issues such as climate change, ocean plastic pollution and marine mammal conservation. At the same time, the development of autonomous marine systems promises to transform the maritime transport, oil and gas, telecommunications, security and defense, fisheries and aquaculture industries.
The products and services described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.