An unidentified "leading integrated oil and gas company" recently took delivery of an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) from L3Harris Technologies, a USV designed to help out during oil spill response operations.
C-Tug 3 is an 11-ft. USV outfitted with L3Harris' ASView control system,a system designed to enable USV remote operations from a land-based control station. C-Tug 3 is designed to execute pre-programmed mission plans and real-time teleoperation via a remote touch screen unit. Once deployed, the USV can tow an oil containment boom into position to prevent the spread of any contaminants. The operator can remotely disconnect the boom and command the USV to deploy anchors to limit wind and current effects.
“This USV is a revolutionary step towards preventing the spread of harmful contaminants and eliminating human exposure to potentially toxic and highly flammable oil spill emergencies,” said Rosemary Chapdelaine, President, Maritime, L3Harris. “We continue to enhance our unmanned
technologies to deliver vehicles that reduce the use of manned vessels in harsh environments.”
C-Tug 3 is equipped with multiple sensors to provide the operator with feedback for the vehicle’s position, heading, wind direction, wind speed, water depth, fuel level, and numerous other datapoints. It will also have both daylight and thermal imaging cameras, with feeds being relayed realtime to the shore-based operator to aid in vessel maneuvering.
The launch and recover system allows the vehicle to be deployed in minutes, and once emergency response operations are complete, the vehicle can be quickly recovered using an on-site crane and lifting rod that does not require any additional rigging or manned intervention, a capability which increases emergency response operations' safety.