Autonomous underwater dredger

Sediment builds up in canals and ports, and so this underwater infrastructure needs to be continuously dredged to required depths. Coupling this with the demand for new and expanded ports - due to increasing global trade and larger ships - the global dredging market is expected to grow from $10.3bn in 2018 to $12.6bn in 2026.[1,2]

Dredging requires powerful pumps and/or mechanics to suck or lift sediment from the seabed up and into vessels.[3,4] Autonomous subsea dredgers will move this activity away from the busy maritime traffic on the surface down to seabed floor. The power needed for operating pumps solely underwater is estimated to be 80% lower.[5]

Autonomous dredgers can follow pre-programmed routes that monitor depths and prioritize problematic areas. Furthermore, the environmental impact of a subsea dredger will be lower when compared to conventional dredgers, as it will reduce sediment cloud plumes by operating closer to the seabed floor.[4]

When will the seabeds of canals and harbors be maintained by autonomous subsea dredgers?

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[1] FMI (2018), Dredging Market is Expected to Grow US$ 16,500 Mn in the year 2022
[2] Verified (2019), Dredging Market Size And Forecast
[3] Wärtsilä Encyclopedia of Marine Technology (2020), Dredging and Dredgers
[4] C-Job (2020), C-Job Designs Autonomous Underwater Maintenance Dredger
[5] Subsea World News (2019), C-Job Unveils Autonomous Underwater Maintenance Dredger
More information:
Ocean News (2019), C-Job Reveals Autonomous Underwater Maintenance Dredger Design
C-Job (2019), Design Of An Autonomous Underwater Maintenance Dredger

By Matthew J. Spaniol