VIDEO: Maintenance dredging goes autonomous and underwater
Netherlands-based C-Job Naval Architects has unveiled a concept design for an Autonomous Underwater Maintenance Dredge (AUMD) at a conference in Trondheim, Norway.
Developed by C-Job’s Research and Development department, the AUMD has been specifically created for maintenance dredging in port environments. The team took advantage of the opportunities and out-of-the-box solutions autonomous vessels allow, such as completely submerging a dredging vessel.
The AUMD requires significantly less power than a conventional dredge, with a 16 MWh battery pack providing enough power for up to 12 hours of maintenance dredging.
“When we developed this exciting design, we performed a comparison study with a conventional Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge,” says Rolph Hijdra, Autonomous Vessels Research Lead at C-Job. “This showed that the Autonomous Underwater Maintenance Dredge requires 55% less propulsion power and that, by submerging the vessel, we could reduce the suction head, cutting the dredge pump power demand by 80%.”
The reference conventional dredge has a length of 104.6 m, beam of 18 m and hopper capacity of 3,5999 cu.m. The AUMD has a length of 80 m, beam of 20.m and a hopper capacity of 3,430 cu.m. Both operate at a dredging depth of 35 m.
The submersible design also increases operability as it mitigates wave motions as the dredge is capable of remaining submerged throughout the dredging cycle. It only needs to surface for repair, maintenance and charging of the batteries. The AUMD features a similar hopper volume to a traditional dredge even though the overall length of C-Job’s design has been reduced by 20%.
Download the full C-Job research paper HERE