SLEEKSHIP – HORIZON 2020
The build-up of marine fouling on hulls can significantly alter the hydrodynamics of the ship, increasing drag, fuel consumption and emissions, and favor the transport of invasive species.
There is currently no efficient way to evaluate the hull fouling condition when the ship is in the water, and taking it out results in down-time that is costly for ship operators. Furthermore, if a ship is not taken out regularly for inspection, the likelihood of biofouling having progressed increases, resulting in the need for harsher cleaning methods that can damage the hull painting or coating.
The EU-funded SleekShip project is developing a semi-autonomous underwater vehicle that will both detect slime at early stages using a multispectral camera and clean it softly with cavitation jetting. The operation can be done while the ship is docked at port for other operations or moored at sea.