Mat boat with robotics system. (Rendering courtesy of Bristol Harbor Group)
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Bristol Harbor Group Designs New Mat Boat For Corps

The Philadelphia Engineer District’s Marine Design Center (MDC) announced that it will soon be releasing a sources sought notice for the construction of a mat boat, a 188- by 74- by 10-foot deck barge, for the Mat Sinking Unit (MSU) located on the Mississippi River.

The barge is to be built to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Rules for Service on Rivers and Intracoastal Waterways. The sources sought notice is only for the construction of the barge and not for the final product, which incorporates a government furnished robotics package.

The sources sought notice will be released on the FedBizOpps.gov website.

In 2015, Bristol Harbor Group Inc. was tasked through an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with the Corps, to design, size and specify details for the new mat boat, mat assembly process and mat placement process. Bristol Harbor Group first visited the MSU to gain a better understanding of its current operations. The MSU’s purpose is to lay a protective overcoat of concrete mats to shield the riverbank from erosion and sloughing.

The Corps said its goal is to minimize the environmental impact and improve the safety of the Corps’ personnel who operate the MSU by incorporating automated technology.

In 2017, Bristol Harbor Group was subcontracted by SIA Solutions, LLC to execute the detailed design of the mat boat. Bristol Harbor Group said it has been coordinating with the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., who is responsible for the design and engineering of the robotic system on the mat boat, to ensure that the structure for the mat deck can incorporate the robotics they are designing and the weights are updated accordingly.

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