NESSIE - Novel Efficient Survey Ship InitiativE

Marine Resources Harvesting
Marine Resources Harvesting
16th September 2019
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An innovative 46m research vessel design resulting from a collaboration between the DRASSM, iXblue Shipyard and MAURIC.

A Research & Development project

An innovative First of Class to offer a range of new ambitious research vessels

Within the scope of an R&D program, iXblue and MAURIC have developed an ambitious multi-purpose research vessel capable of handling the following missions: oceanographic, hydrographic, fisheries, geophysical, meteorological, underwater research, and underwater archaeology. The First of Class resulting from the R&D program may be the starting point of a range proposed to different shipowners all over the world.

The ship will have several key aspects such as a minimized environmental impact from the construction to the dismantling by using recycled high quality FRP.

The hull will be monitored and the behaviour of recycled high quality FRP evaluated. Indeed, the major drawback of this material already used by shipyards is the limited feedback on the evolution of its performances over time. That is why optical fibers will be installed in the bottom of the hull (over the entire length) and on the front walls to record displacement in the composite due to hogging and sagging effects on the vessel and impact pressure on the side shells forward. 

A demonstration of the growing concern about subaquatic research

After a few years of subaquatic research missions onboard André Malraux, Survey Vessel 360, resulting from iXblue, MAURIC and the DRASSM (The Subaquatic Archaeological Research Department of the French Ministry of Culture) collaboration, Michel L’Hour from the DRASSM has decided to manage the construction of this multipurpose and innovative First of Class with the same partners through the project called NESSIE, for Novel Efficient Survey Ship InitiativE.

Indeed, the demand of newbuilding dedicated to exploration of oceans and seas is growing. There is still a lot to discover in deep waters, and human activities put coastal and offshore areas at risk. The development of news methods, tools and optimized research vessels seem to be an answer for the harvesting of information and protection of marine areas.

Process and steps

MAURIC is already working on the design studies: External design and general arrangement plans, hull lines, ship performance calculations and model tests, and detailed structure engineering.

The construction of the hull mould should start by the end of 2019 and the building of the vessel in 2020. Then, MAURIC will participate to the last tests (Harbour Acceptance Tests, inclining experiment and sea trials) before the expected delivery in 2021.

NESSIE, a well-equipped and optimized design

With a length of 46 meters overall, a breadth of 9.2 meters and a draught of 3.2 meters, the First of Class resulting from NESSIE project will be 10 meters longer than its predecessor, André Malraux launched in 2012.

Benefiting from MAURIC experience in semi-swath hull form (on Catamaran and Monohull Vessels), NESSIE’s specific hull form will increase the comfort of the Scientists (up to 28 onboard) without affecting the speed performances. With her single shaft line and Controllable Pitch propeller, powered by a 1700 kW diesel engine, the vessel will reach a speed of 15 knots and the range at cruising speed (12 kts) will be about 3200 nm, so that, expeditions beyond Mediterranean Sea will be possible.

The auxiliary propulsion with 4 thrusters, 2 at the bow and 2 at the stern, will enable advanced dynamic positioning performances.

Regarding the scientific tools, NESSIE will be equipped with sonars in a gondola located on the keel. Moreover, the launch and recovery have been specifically optimized for the deployment of ROV and UAV, with a A-frame (7t), a 15 t.m crane, a hydraulic hoisting winch (7t) and a scientific electric hoist (1t). 

Collecting information from the unmanned systems and sonars, the scientists will have the possibility to process the data and carry out research directly onboard thanks to the large dry laboratory and the fully equipped survey room for supervision of AUV and ROVs operations and post processing.

MAURIC is proud to design, NESSIE, the future vessel of the DRASSM, humbly contributing to the renewing of France’s assets for subaquatic archaeological research.