Airbus engineering spinoff, AirSeas, has developed an automated kite to improve RoRo ferry fuel economy and collect real-time meteorological data.
With a 'flick of a switch', the SeaWing parafoil unfurls to provide a 20% improvement in fuel consumption. When it is no longer required, the system refolds and is packed away for reuse.
Airbus predicts that the advanced technology will revolutionise the ferry industry and reduce the environmental impact by around 8,0000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
"We are very proud that Airbus has confirmed its confidence in the SeaWing system after seeing our test results first-hand on their own ship. This first RoRo vessel installation opens the way for further pioneering deals on container ships, bulk freighters and ferries. We are glad we can start helping our customers to reduce ship emissions in order to preserve the environment."
explained AirSeas founder and former Airbus executive Vincent Bernatets.
SeaWing pilots the kite position, attitude and speed in order to provide the best thurst to the ship in a given situation. The modular nature of the system means that it can be installed on any vessel in an acceptable timeframe.