Thanks to a state-of-the-art hyperspectral camera, the SleekShip system is able to detect down to very low levels of biofouling.
Equipped with a last generation cavitation-based cleaning tool, the SleekShip system cleans the hull efficiently with no harm to any type of coating.
SleekShip redefines management of ship hull biofoulingallowing inspection and cleaning to take place in contaminated, turbid waters
By bringing together a Semi-Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (SAUV), a Hyper Spectral Imaging (HSI) system and a novel cavitation-based cleaning tool, our product allows quantified biofouling measurements previously impossible with conventional visual inspection due to light backscattering caused by waterborne particles in dock waters. By enabling inspection and cleaning service providers to reliably detect early stages of biofouling within contaminated ports, i.e. without needing the vessel to halt its journey at clear waters, SleekShip will drive cost cutting exceeding 3 billion euros over 5 years after market launch for the global shipping industry.
Underwater Robotic Platform
The semi-autonomous underwater vehicle (SAUV) has 4 horizontal and 2 vertical thrusters allowing for maximum manoeuvrability, a characteristic of major importance as it facilitates ease-of-use. The platform is also interoperable with all acoustic localisation systems. This will be crucial in allowing high-accuracy localisation for the SAUV. Localisation systems comprise 3-4 devices dropped in selected locations along the ship’s hull. By triangulating against these reference points by means of sound using a compatible device mounted on the robot, SleekShip will be able to localise itself with <5cm accuracy. This, in conjunction with the ultrasound distance sensors around its chassis and the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) connected to the main board will provide the measurements required for a Smart Cruise Control algorithm to automatically regulate the path of the system around the vessel. This level of autonomy will allow SleekShip to be used by non-expert operators; this is a crucial feature of our product.
Underwater conditions cause loss of contrast as well as colour, and light absorption which are a nightmare for ordinary cameras. Hyperspectral imaging overcomes these 3 challenges being an information-rich technology that uses spectral colour bands to identify objects and materials in an image.
Cavitation cleaning tool
The cavitation-based stream induces much lower forces than conventional jetting, allowing for full modelling of the process dynamics. Our cleaning tool comes with an integrated suction-based debris collection system that will absorb all fouling dust making our tool usable within port waters even under stringent regulatory frameworks.