Mayflower Autonomous Ship Prepares To Sail Again!

ProMare, an organization that is dedicated to marine research, has made all the repairs and re-innovations on the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS400) that was compelled to sail back due to “a small mechanical issue.”

Mayflower Autonomous Ship Prepares To Sail Again!
Inside The Digital Dashboard of The Vessel | Image Via: MAS (ProMare)

Backed by IBM, the autonomous vessel Mayflower set out to sail on 15 June 2021 from Turnchapel Wharf, Plymouth, UK.

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Three days after the roll-out, the autonomous vessel had to stop its voyage due to a mechanical issue and sailed back to England.

Once it was back in the base, ProMare found out that the cause of the issue was a fracture in the flexible metal coupling between the exhaust system and the ship’s generator. 

MAS400 makes use of solar panels to bring out as much energy as possible from the sun. An onboard generator switches on automatically to top up the battery when required.

Following the fracturing of the coupling, MAS400 had to rely solely on solar power, but the poor weather and rough seas at the time meant that the ship did not generate enough solar power to continue its journey.

Brett Phaneuf, Director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project, mentioned that despite the setback, the team has learned a lot and is more encouraged than ever that the Mayflower will safely navigate the world’s oceans shortly.

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ProMare is currently redesigning the coupling and is also taking the opportunity to advance some of the computing devices to enhance the onboard processing power. The generator has been pulled out and a replacement is ordered, the research organization said.

The company has set the objective to have MAS400 back in the water in the weeks to come.

Following the long-range trials and tests, the team will decide about the ship’s next missions and the timing of the next Atlantic crossing attempt.

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