SEABER: Successful English Channel Crossing with an Underwater Drone -A World First!

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The YUCO micro-AUV, manufactured by the innovative company SEABER, has successfully crossed the English Channel. This technical feat is a world premiere, paving the way for new ways of exploring and monitoring marine environments.

On April 29, the YUCO AUV covered the 39km English Channel between Folkestone, United Kingdom and Wissant, France in less than 8 hours. Over the course of its journey, the YUCO followed a pre-programmed mission on the SEAPLAN software.

During its crossing, the drone resurfaced three times for legal reasons. This mission shows the reliability and high battery capacity of the YUCO, which finished its journey with 35% of its power left, the company said in a June 5 media statement.

This accomplishment is a world first for an autonomous underwater vehicle measuring just less than one metre and weighing a mere 10kg. The SEABER team rose to the challenge with determination, by developing and testing new functionalities that will soon be available to all YUCO operators, be they researchers, coastguards, sea rescuers, police officers or sailors. This achievement testifies to SEABER’s expertise in underwater technologies.

This project has successfully involved the whole company, at different levels, in order to ensure its success. Quentin Peyregne, co-founder of SEABER and CTO, told us just before the deployment: “We’re confident about this crossing because our staff did a lot of work upstream preparing for it, with the help of an area current-simulator and by planning the YUCO’s mission so that it can adapt to all the situations it will encounter.”

The challenge is made all the more complex by the maritime route between France and England, regarded as one of the busiest in the world, with more than 400 commercial ships a day and highly variable weather conditions. Furthermore, nearly 4 million passengers, 27 million tonnes of goods and 400 ships pass through every day. The success of this crossing is an irrefutable testament to YUCO’s reliability.

SEABER thanked RS Aqua Ltd, its British partner, for its invaluable support and for the magnificent video documenting this exceptional adventure. The successful collaboration between the two companies has made this historic crossing a reality.

“This is a collective success, like every SEABER project” emphasises its Chairman, Vidal Teixeira.

“We would also like to thank the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, BPI France and Région Bretagne for their unwavering support over the last few years. They have enabled us to develop an innovative technology quickly and eventually put it into production”. Through its collaborations and strategic partnerships, SEABER continues to develop innovative underwater technologies to meet environmental and industrial challenges. –seaber/adj/mhi (Pix: SEABER)