Eco Marine Power (EMP) hopes to develop more efficient oceangoing ships, but its latest design adds a dose of coolness as well. The Aquarius Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) is a solar-powered marine drone coming to a harbor near you, according to Inhabitat.
The Aquarius will have a solar panel array spread across its trimaran hull, which will send power to onboard batteries. The vessel will also include sensors for monitoring aquatic conditions, and a communications array for transmitting the gathered data.
This futuristic ship’s primary missions will involve monitoring pollution, conducting ecological surveys, and patrolling coastlines and maritime parks. For the latter, it even has a “stealth” mode: the masts are lowered, making the vessel virtually invisible against the horizon.
The Aquarius keeps a low profile below the surface as well. A shallow draft will allow it to operate in urban waterways and other shallow bodies like rivers, bays, and lakes, as well as on the open ocean.
A prototype Aquarius USV is scheduled to begin operational tests in 2015. Bond villains, take note.