The red DriX ASV cruising through calm water.

In a collaborative effort with Exail, NOAA, and the Center, DriX Autonomous Surface Vessels have been housed and supported by the Center since the December 2018. The DriX is a 7.7 m long, wave-piercing, composite composition vehicle, capable of meeting NOAA’s hydrographic survey specifications at speeds exceeding 10 knots. In addition, the DriX boasts an endurance of seven 24-hour days at 7 knots, providing a long-endurance capability not possible by most other vehicles of its size.

The Center facilitated the installation of an EM2040 multibeam system and a Kongsberg MBR long-range radio for vehicle evaluation and testing—both at the Center and in trials aboard NOAA vessels.

For additional information about the DriX, please contact Val Schmidt.

ASV DriX on trailer, ready for transport.
DriX ready for transport. The vessel is
small enough to be put on a towed trailer.
The DriX moving away from its Launch & Recovery System (LARS).
DriX moving away from its Launch and Recovery System (LARS).
The DriX in its LARS is launched over the side of the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson.
DriX, in its LARS, is launched over the side
of the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson.
The DriX ASV with the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson.
DriX and the NOAA Ship Thomas
in Norfolk, VA.

DriX Specifications


  • Length overall: 7.7 m
  • Beam overall: 0.8 m
  • Draft: 2.0 m


  • Engine: 37 Hp Nanni Diesel
  • Prop-driven
  • Fuel capacity: 250 liters
  • Endurance: ~400 nm (assumes 7 knots, leaving 15% fuel in reserve, and operating with the EM712 gondola)
  • Top speed: >12 knots


  • 24V system
  • 900 W for survey payload


  • Kongsberg Marine Broadband Radio
  • Wifi
  • Starlink
  • Iridium


  • Kongsberg EM2040 or EM712
  • iXblue PHINS AHRS with Septentrio GPS (LARS)
  • EK-80 at 200kHz and 70kHz
  • Sonardyne HPT3000 USBL