BV certifies iXblue’s unmanned surface vessel

Sept. 29, 2021
Bureau Veritas has delivered an approval in principle to iXblue for DriX, an unmanned surface vessel.

Offshore staff

PARIS Bureau Veritas (BV) has delivered an approval in principle (AiP) to iXblue for DriX, an unmanned surface vessel (USV).

This AiP addresses the safety requirements of the marine drone, which operates under the novel concept of remotely supervised autonomy.

The 8-m (26-ft) long USV is equipped with radar, lidar, cameras, and artificial intelligence, which enable it to adapt to its environment, avoid obstacles, and carry out missions autonomously. Designed to support hydrographic and geophysical surveys, water column analysis and subsea positioning operations, DriX has been used by major hydrographic institutes and energy companies worldwide.

BV has certified DriX’s system architecture, operational envelope, construction (Malta Cross certificate for the hull), as well as its autonomy functions. The NI641 “Guidelines for Autonomous shipping” have provided a framework for a thorough analysis of the USV architecture and its critical functions in a way that is adapted to autonomous marine systems.

In order to support the AIP, Bureau Veritas Solutions Marine & Offshore, the technical advisory component of Bureau Veritas Group, conducted a hazard identification (HAZID) study, as required by BV NI641. This HAZID study identified and assessed the hazards of maritime autonomous surface ships when unmanned, considering the level of automation, direct and remote control, autonomy, area of operation and vessel type and design.

The company also conducted a failure mode effects and criticality analysis on critical components previously identified during the HAZID study in order to identify, evaluate, and mitigate the effects of essential equipment failure and to improve the reliability of automation systems associated with essential services.