Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.
The Mitzuchi is a new class of hydro-electric catamaran vessel that would be specifically built to observe, study, and clean up the earth's oceans. It would be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and electric motors.
In all the world's oceans, there are tremendous amounts of floating plastic debris on or just below the surface of the ocean. The biggest mass of floating debris is also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
I had the idea of creating a vessel that could be used by scientists and journalists from around the world to observe, study, and learn more about the plastic and the marine life it is impacting. They can also use this vessel to find and test ways to clean this up over the coming centuries. I know the task is huge, but we have to start somewhere, and this concept ship can begin to address this problem.
The Mitzuchi is a Catamaran ship that would navigate "contaminated zones" to collect, identify, and monitor the movement of plastic particles. It would be equipped with a collection system between its two hulls like a conveyor belt made of mesh or scoops that would pick up samples of the gyre of marine debris, which would be dropped into observation bins. On deck, supervisors would be able to separate other objects or trapped marine animals that could be freed and released into the sea.
On each side of the boat, there would be a hydraulic robotic arm that could be used to pick up larger floating debris, deploy autonomous watercrafts, motorized dinghies, scientific submersibles, and other equipment. The Mitzuchi would also be able to collect larger fields of floating debris using inflatable floating barriers like the ones proposed by The Ocean Clean-Up project.
To maintain a certain tension on these barriers, Small pilotless personal watercrafts (Modified Sea-Doo) that could extend outward and pull these arrays of floating barriers to concentrate and catch debris, enabling the ship to efficiently extract plastic. These Sea-doo could be remotely piloted by people on the ship, and they could also feature autopilots linked to the ship. They would thus collect the floating items by creating a huge V in front of the ship which would direct the items between the hulls into the collection system.
What It's Used For
Among other things, the ship would serve as a Marine Biology Research vessel, so it would be equipped with labs and cabins for the scientists and crew. The Mitzuchi would also need room to accomodate journalists and famous activists to help share the message with the public and key policy stake holders. Accordingly, it should be equipped with comfortable cabins and living spaces for them. There could be a helicopter pad at the back, and an observation platform that could lowered into the water to make it easier for scuba divers to get in or out. More than one ship should be built, and the whole endeavour should become an international project.
Ray Mattison from Design Eye-Q created the renderings of the Mitzuchi concept. Ray, who is based near Duluth, Minnesota, studied at the College for Creative Studies and he has worked for Cirrus Aircraft and Exodus Machines.
Charles Bombardier is a member of the family that owns Quebec-based Bombardier Inc. and Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), which are in the business of designing and manufacturing vehicles.
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