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Look what Bjoern at New York Media Boat observed in the the New York Bight

surveying the hithers and the yons of Ambrose Channel and other locales last week.

First, have a good look at the communications “superstructure,” with a FLIR camera, radar, four regular cameras one pointing in each direction, nav lights, lots of solar panels, bunch of other antennas, and who knows what’s inside the hull   Next, a query, which I’ll answer later in the post:  who controls these unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and where is the remote pilot located?

You might recall I was following UI #15 and #19 via AIS also a few days ago, and you may recall

then I mentioned that wherever the USVs were, a small boat named Free Time was near by. 

Later, Bjoern caught the one of the vessels out of the water and had a closer look.  Below, that’s the bow of the trimaran.  The instruments and generator are located in the center hull.  Propulsion comes from a one-cylinder diesel generator.  Diesel fuel capacity is 80 gallons, and I’m not sure what the range is.   

You’re likely wondering what they are doing:  according to Ocean, it’s called forward scouting, and as has been the case for most of this blog’s “exotic” posts, it’s related to offshore wind farm planning

For specs, click here.

Below, note the orange propellers on the ground.   Also, the solar panels, removed and leaning again the hull, can provide a minor amount of power.  With very little sail, these units, of which about 20 exist worldwide, can operate in winds up to 50 knots.

 

I’m guessing this cluster at the deepest draft of the vessel includes the sensors and transponders. 

With props and thrusters, a precise chosen course is followed.  

All photos, thanks to New York Media Boat.  Any errors of interpretation or reporting, WVD.

And  . . . the vessels are piloted/remotely monitored by pilots in the Ireland control center.  Maybe you noted Belfast as registry on the stern.  Free Time is a safety boat, required in the US.

More from this article:  “XOCEAN isn’t the only company riding this wave. There is L3Harris, whose unmanned vessels have been used by the US Navy, Saildrone which has collected data from the Arctic to the equator as part of environmental research, and Ocean Infinity, which is spearheading the development of larger uncrewed vessels.”

I’m not exactly sure what HOS Browning does each time she goes to sea,

but she has a lot of deck space, and a derrick to work with.   It turns out I’ve seen ship before down in Port Fourchon eight years ago, when she went by the name Betty Pfankuch.

Specs on this Mexico-flagged vessel can be downloaded and read here. Of interest are the facts that HOS Browning was built in the same shipyard as the new ferries and that the owner and manager is the same company that owns/operates the liftboat Ram VII recently featured here. Also, why is a US-built, Mexican-flagged vessel being used?

This general arrangement  diagram shows the location of a “future hydro-acoustic thru-hull” midships.   I suppose that means that now that 34″ thru-hull has now been opened up.  On that same diagram, would the mud tanks still be in place?  

Given the yellow “cage” near the stern, I’m surprised there’s no A-frame for deploying it, unless it’s been stowed/dismantled while in port.

All photos, any errors, lots of questions, WVD.

This is not your typical sixth boro scene.

Back in January 2018, I posted photos of Fugro Explorer.  I recall it was cold cold, and my fingers hurt holding the camera.  Now you can sense the heat by the amount of moisture in the air already just before 0700.

She’s not a new vessel at all, launched in Singapore in 1999 and refitted just three years later.

 

She was in port for about 12 hours; I can relate to someone wanting to profit from this wifi.

I’m re-inserting the link from above, in case you didn’t look at it then, to show what all she has for equipment.

I did notice that since the January 2018 photos, she’s had more telecom external gear added.  My guess is that she’s working on the wind farms offshore, as is Royal, who was in the sixth boro briefly this week, and I missed her too.  Did anyone catch photos of her?

All photos, WVD, who is chasing the “spectacular warship” today, and of course alternating between 101.5 and 90.9 . . . and 93.9.

 

 

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