Cortix is a comprehensive modular solution to automate some of the core functions of a surface vessel and enable a high level of autonomy under the supervision of a remote operator. Cortix can be embedded either on an existing vessel or a platform specifically designed to be autonomous. It relies on a distributed modular architecture and provides the hardware and software infrastructure to interface with the vessel. Cortix provides the onboard computing capacities for the deployment of Exail Cortix autonomy software framework. On a conventional manned vessel, Cortix can be interfaced with payloads often used in hydrography (MBES, ADCP…). Its smart bandwidth management system will allow surveyors to control payload settings and perform quality checks remotely over degraded communication channels while following the survey from the Cortix HMI on shore.

When Cortix is used to control the vessel or plugged to the autopilot, it can automatically adjust its trajectory to execute high level hydrographic survey mission objectives based on measurement quality.

This presentation will showcase the high-level architecture, highlighting the modularity and the distributed autonomy this solution brings to the boat components. Then some details of the Cortix survey trajectory planner and the smart bandwidth manager will be presented. We will conclude by explaining a remote hydrography operation done with Exail’s USV Drix where we performed seafloor mapping of a bay in Alaska from our remote operation centre in the South of France.


 Adrien Barral

Adrien has been a robotics engineer for over 15 years, holding the positions of research and development engineer, developer, software architect, and now technical manager of the software development and artificial intelligence team of the Maritime Autonomy Solutions division of Exail.

As a Research and Development Engineer, he worked on UFO (Unknown Floating Object) detection by fusing several sensors and was also the software architect of one of ECA Robotic’s (now Exail) first USVs: The Inspector MKII. Since 2016, his team has been developing iXblue’s (now Exail) DriX software: CortiX.