The Ørsted USV

The industry’s first uncrewed surface vessel for offshore measurement campaigns

As an industry leader and the world’s largest operator of offshore wind farms, we have a duty to keep pushing boundaries so we can reach a world powered entirely by green energy.

For us, that means placing innovation at the core of everything we do. So we can help lead the green energy build-out by making offshore wind more affordable and sustainable.

It’s a way of thought shared by our thousands of in-house offshore experts, including one of the largest engineering departments in the industry.

And it’s why we are proud to announce the launch of the Ørsted USV: an uncrewed surface vessel (USV) for offshore metocean measurement campaigns that will help us collect more data than ever before, and with greater speed.


An in-house innovation with great potential

A hybrid of a vessel and a buoy, the Ørsted USV can sail uncrewed while being monitored from an onshore control room. Upon arrival to a measurement site, an integrated anchor system is then deployed, essentially turning the USV into a buoy.

This makes the Ørsted USV perfect for replacing floating LiDAR campaigns, resulting in higher data availability, significantly lower HSE risks and, ultimately, lower costs.

The Ørsted USV is another great example of Ørsted’s innovation methodology, says Head of Innovation Jacob Edmonds: 

“First, we study the megatrends addressing our industry – in this case, the challenge of obtaining quality wind measurements and environmental data in the fastest time possible. Then we start small and proof the concept, find the financial backing to go into production, and make sure we deliver through our in-house project management experience.”

Helping offshore wind reach new frontiers

With research, development and design taking place in house, the Ørsted USV has already undergone extensive testing in Danish and Norwegian waters, proving its ability to operate safely in high sea state conditions for up to one year at a time.

As such, because the USV can perform in harsh environments without posing any HSE risk, we can both significantly increase our operational window for offshore surveys and reduce carbon emissions.

Giving us the opportunity to not only advance our own offshore wind projects, but the industry as a whole – with the Ørsted USV playing a key role in the rapid industrialisation of new technologies such as floating offshore wind.''


What's so special about our USV concept is that it can bring our measurement equipment to and from our offshore sites without the need for large, specialised support vessels, and, while on site, can operate for extended periods of time, measuring large amounts of data that can be sent onshore and processed in real time. The USV concept enables Ørsted to obtain consistently high data availability, which is essential for achieving the highest possible certainty regarding annual energy production for new offshore wind farms.

– Frederik Søndergaard Hansen, Programme Manager and co-inventor of the Ørsted USV

Driving innovation through collaboration

The prototype Ørsted USV was constructed by Danish shipbuilder Tuco Marine Group, with the control system delivered by Norwegian company Maritime Robotics AS. Allowing us to combine their expertise in vessel construction and autonomous control systems with our in-depth knowledge of offshore measurement operations – for fast time-to-market of a USV that offers exceptional performance.

Our USV concept can operate in high sea state conditions up to a wave height of 9 metres, optimising uptime.

With full ownership and operational control of all the USVs we produce, we can significantly reduce the cost of carrying out offshore measurement campaigns.

Explore other innovations

Suction bucket jackets

Whilst there is limited offshore wind industry experience relating to the design and installation of suction bucket jackets, Ørsted has been an industry leader in the development of SBJ technology for application in the offshore wind environment
Graphics of floating wind

Floating offshore wind energy

An offshore wind turbine weighs a thousand tonnes, is nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower, and has blades as long as football pitches. How do we make these colossal structures float and stay stable amid high winds and strong swells?