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MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic

29 August 2015

MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic

The first unmanned ship MARS by Shuttleworth will cross the Atlantic Ocean.

The unique project has been developed to design, build and sail the first full-sized unmanned ship to cross the ocean.

MARS or The Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship will be powered by state-of-the-art renewable energy technology.

The ship will carry a variety of drones through which it will conduct a variety of experiments during the crossing.

The project is being developed by a partnership of Plymouth University, autonomous craft specialists MSubs, and award-winning yacht designers Shuttleworth Design.

When it will be ready?

We will more likely see the results after two-and-a-half years, when it will be ready.

After a year-long of testing phase, the planned voyage will happen in 2020, which will also mark the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower sailings from Plymouth to the North American continent.

MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic
MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic

What are they saying?

Professor Kevin Jones, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University, said:

“MARS has the potential to be a genuine world-first, and will operate as a research platform, conducting numerous scientific experiments during the course of its voyage.

“And it will be a test bed for new navigation software and alternative forms of power, incorporating huge advancements in solar, wave and sail technology.

MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic
MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic

“As the eyes of the world follow its progress, it will provide a live educational resource to students – a chance to watch, and maybe participate in history in the making.”

The construction, will be leading by Plymouth-based firm MSubs. They will be using their expertise in building autonomous marine vessels for a variety of global customers.

Managing Director Brett Phaneuf said:

“While advances in technology have propelled land and air-based transport to new levels of intelligent autonomy, it has been a different story on the sea.”

“The civilian maritime world has, as yet, been unable to harness the autonomous drone technology that has been used so effectively in situations considered unsuitable for humans.

MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic
MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic

“It begs the question, if we can put a rover on Mars and have it autonomously conduct research, why can’t we sail an unmanned vessel across the Atlantic Ocean and, ultimately, around the globe? That’s something we are hoping to answer with MARS.”

The concepts of the project are being worked by Shuttleworth Design, and they will be preparing scale models for testing in the University’s Marine Building.

MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic
MARS By Shuttleworth Will Be the First Unmanned Ship To Cross The Atlantic |source: shuttleworthdesign.com|

Many of the features of the trimaran are yet to be finalized, but it is expected to take advantage of advancements in solar panel technology to provide the energy required for its propulsion.

Orion Shuttleworth said:

“We want the vessel to really capture the imagination. It’s of a scale unmatched by anything in the civilian world.”

We can’t wait to see if their plan is going to work, and if it does what are we going to discover?