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Author: Subject: Unmanned Underwater Vehicles
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[*] posted on 18-5-2017 at 11:40 AM
Unmanned Underwater Vehicles


IMDEX 2017: ST Electronics completes development of Mercury AUV

Kelvin Wong, Singapore - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

17 May 2017


ST Electronics launched its fully developed and rebranded Mercury AUV at the IMDEX 2017 exhibition. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics completed development of its Mercury autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) in mid-2016, Jane's has learnt during the IMDEX 2017 exhibition in Singapore.

Formerly known by its development name of Meredith, the 500 kg-class Mercury AUV is a modular, mid-weight AUV that is the result of a joint effort between DSO National Laboratories and ST Electronics to develop an underwater robot capable of providing high-quality seabed data for mine countermeasure (MCM) operations.

"We are deliberately keeping the overall weight under 1 tonne so that it can be deployed easily from shore or any craft of opportunity without complicated and expensive handling equipment," a company spokesperson told Jane's.

The example on display at IMDEX measures approximately 5 m in length and comprises the following components: the nose cone, which houses a forward-looking sonar; the configurable payload module that is currently equipped with a Thales synthetic aperture and mine detection imagery sonar (SAMDIS); the mission module that contains the autonomy, communications, navigation, safety, and processing systems; the battery module; and finally the propulsion module where a modified commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) thruster, optimised for efficiency, resides.

According to ST Electronics, another potential payload could be a dual-frequency synthetic aperture sonar. While no details of this particular system were revealed, Jane's earlier reported that DSO National Laboratories is collaborating with the locally based Microfine Materials Technologies to develop dual-imaging frequency techniques using indigenously developed piezoelectric crystal technology.

The Mercury AUV is outfitted with a global positioning system (GPS), an inertial navigation system (INS), and a Doppler velocity log (DVL). When operating in GPS-denied environments, the vehicle is claimed to be capable of navigating with a margin of error of 1 m for every kilometre travelled.

Jane's was briefed that the vehicle has an endurance of 14 hours at an average speed of 3 kt when equipped with a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery.

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[*] posted on 18-5-2017 at 12:58 PM


Kraken receives funding for ThunderFish

17th May 2017 - 15:30

by The Shephard News Team



Kraken Sonar Systems has received a funding from the Research and Development Corporation (RDC) of Newfoundland and Labrador to support development of its ThunderFish autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), the company announced on 15 May.

The programme is working to combine smart sonar, laser and optical sensors, advanced pressure tolerant battery and thruster technologies with artificial intelligence algorithms to develop a cost effective 6,000m depth rated AUV.

Karl Kenny, president and CEO of Kraken said: ‘Technological innovations in sensors, high performance computing and robotics now enable next generation underwater vehicles that are highly autonomous, cost effective, light weight and easier to operate. We look forward to continuing to develop advanced marine technologies and products to meet the ever-evolving demands of our growing customer base.’

Kraken's  $745,950 funding contribution was provided under RDC's SensorTECH programme, which supports sensor research, development and demonstration in simulated and real operating environments. Research and development conducted under this programme helps solve local technical challenges and contributes to the development of new or improved products and services with sensor-related technologies such as radar, acoustics, optics, sonar and signal processing that can be exported into the international market.
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[*] posted on 22-5-2017 at 07:23 PM


ONR enhances human-machine teaming with prototype undersea ROV

Anika Torruella, Washington, DC - IHS Jane's Navy International

22 May 2017


A scale model of the Dive Buddy ROV on display at the Pentagon in May 2017 shows the cavity that enables payload switching.

The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Surface Warfare Command (NAVSEA) Panama City, Florida, division have developed a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to increase diver survivability and limit diver undersea exposure.

The Dive Buddy ROV project has designed, prototyped, and tested a semi-autonomous underwater vehicle that enables naval dive teams to have a rapid response 'fly-away' capability for disabled submarines' assessment and escape, sensitive aircraft debris recovery, subsea infrastructure security, and capsize victim rescue missions while reducing logistics and response time.

Dive Buddy provides divers with a navigation, search, and transportation tool that is tethered to a surface vessel and can also act as a communications node to relay wireless communications between the ROV and the diver, voice and data from the diver up the "umbilical" tether to the surface vessel, and data and low bandwidth, real-time video from the vessel down to the diver, Lee Cofer, a NAVSEA unmanned systems electronics engineer, told Jane's on 18 May at the Pentagon.

Cofer explained that the system is designed to go at least as fast as a diver can swim, can acoustically track divers via sonar, follow a diver or a target, perform station keeping, or go down before divers to survey a small search area and perform dive site reconnaissance and tagging, "so they're not sending divers down and possibly wasting their bottom time". The ROV is also enabled to guide or retrieve a diver, perform localised 'waypoint' navigation, or tow two divers, although this "creates a lot of drag".

The ROV carry switchable payloads, such as up to 16 Mk 15 rebreathers, or two 100 kg scuba cylinder clips, or most any type of free swimming life support equipment needed.

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[*] posted on 24-5-2017 at 11:25 AM


US NUWC tests biomimetic minehunting UUV prototype

Anika Torruella, Washington, DC - IHS Jane's Navy International

23 May 2017


Scale model of Razor shows placement of empty foil cans (in black) along the flanks that can be used to add a variety of components and sensors and lead to versatility in the future design. Source: IHS Markit/Anika Torruella

US Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) is testing a new minehunting unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that uses biomimetics that imitate sea life.

Initially designed to interdict swimmer/diver threats, the Razor mine-hunting UUV is enabled with low-speed manoeuvrability and higher speed cruising capabilities to survey broad areas or interrogate localised areas for buried mines, Richard Berube, an autonomous undersea vehicle subject matter expert in the Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV) division, NUWC, told Jane's on 18 May at the Pentagon.

Razor is about 3 m long, two-man portable, and has an acoustic sonar sensor, magnetometer, and a changeable payload. Razor has co-ordinated control between its four high-lift, flapping fin-like foils and two aft propeller thrusters. At low speeds the foils provide manoeuvrability and hovering, and at higher cruising speeds the foils act as control surfaces.

The flapping fins emulate animal behaviour, such as bird and turtles. Combined with the 6-DOF platform control, this enables Razor to stop, hover, and translate about detected targets of interest. "These foils ... allow me to hold any aspect I want with this vehicle," Berube said. He explained that looking top down on a potential mine only provides two dimensional interrogation, while Razor can change attitude to position itself at, for instance, a 45-degree angle and swim around the target to capture a three-dimensional picture without having to incorporate a heavier or more powerful sonar.

The payload capacity of Razor runs along its flanks as the original design was enabled with mini-torpedoes that are no longer needed. These empty spaces in the foil cans can be used to add components and lead to versatility in the future design.

Berube also explained that the designers were experimenting with moving the aft thrusters to the flanks in future designs to provide even more versatility in sensor placement and antenna mast placement.

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[*] posted on 13-6-2017 at 05:38 PM


Navy, Boeing partner to build deep-sea drone

By: Peter Rathmell, June 12, 2017



The U.S. Navy, one of the nation's largest airplane manufacturers and a top shipbuilding firm are diving into the ocean to revolutionize naval warfare, according to a report by Defense One.

Boeing and Huntington Ingalls have been tasked with creating the Echo Voyager, a massive unmanned, autonomous submarine weighing 50-tons and measuring more than 50-feet long. It is designed to be able to stay underwater for months at a time.

“We are combining Boeing’s preeminent [unmanned underwater vehicle] maritime engineering team with our nation’s leading shipbuilder and Navy technical services company to get operational vehicles to the Navy years ahead of the standard acquisition process,” said Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works.

The Navy hopes the drone can fulfill a variety of roles, like firing missiles, dropping mines or conducting underwater research.

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Works visited Boeing's Huntington Beach Factory in California late last year and said that he was impressed with the drone's capabilities.

"Being able to drop things out of the bottom as well as launch things out of the top, long endurance, deep-diving depth, persistence, all of those things were really, really exciting to see,” Work said.

Boeing began testing a prototype of the underwater drone in the Pacific Ocean on June 5. The preliminary tests are focusing on communication, autonomy and battery systems, Boeing said in a release.  


The 51-foot-long Echo Voyager swims just off the Southern California coast. The yellow paint makes it easy for test engineers to spot in the dark blue water.
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[*] posted on 1-8-2017 at 07:30 PM


ONR showcases amphibious system with undulating propulsion

Anika Torruella - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

31 July 2017


The agile swimmer system uses sheet-like fins to produce repetitive undulating motion for propulsion. Source: Pliant Energy Systems

The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) is funding an amphibious optionally autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) or remotely operated vehicle (ROV) prototype for use in littoral, surf and tide-zones, high-vegetation, debris-filled, or icy environments. The prototype was showcased and demonstrated at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Exposition in Washington, DC, on 20–21 July 2017.

Pliant Energy Systems' agile swimmer robot uses multi-stable non-linear systems to produce repetitive undulating motion for propulsion. Instead of propellers, the planar hyperbolic geometry and flexible electroactive-polymer undulating fins are able to propel the system underwater, on sandy beaches, over sea- or land-based vegetation, slippery or wet rocks, and over or under ice floes and ice shelves. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery.

Key mission roles include land, sea, or undersea communications payloads, including radio, GPS, WiFi, or satellite links; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); search and rescue; mine scanning and identification; and other roles, providing support to ongoing missions, such as station keeping.

According to Benjamin Pietro Filardo, founder and CEO of Pliant Energy Systems, the key advantage of the agile swimmer is its amphibious nature to move from under sea, to beach and through surf, and then over vegetation or through marshes. The undulating propulsion cannot tangle in dense vegetation because there are no spinning parts, and there is minimal damage to plant and disturbance to sediment layers.

"The other thing about non-tangling is that you can go into very-debris-filled water with a lot of plant matter or even sewage," Filardo told Jane's . "It could even swim up a sewer line because it doesn't get tangled, and it undulates rather than spinning ... that's why it is so versatile."

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[*] posted on 19-8-2017 at 11:53 AM


Proteus dual-mode undersea vehicle demonstrated at ANTX

Richard Scott - IHS Jane's Navy International

18 August 2017

Key Points
- Proteus has been designed and built to serve as a large-diameter undersea vehicle prototype for both manned and unmanned missions
- During ANTX, Proteus was used to ingress contested battlespace and launch three micro-UUVs

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII’s) Proteus dual-mode undersea vehicle (DMUV) successfully completed autonomous contested battlespace missions during the 2017 Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Panama City Division.



Proteus is shown here with an adjunct REMUS 600 UUV fitted on its starboard side. (HII)

Proteus was jointly developed by HII’s Technical Solutions division (Undersea Solutions Group) and Battelle, and has been designed and built to serve as a large-diameter undersea vehicle prototype able to deliver payloads at distances of hundreds of miles without human intervention in autonomous mode, or transport divers in manned mode. Evolved from a proven in-service Swimmer Delivery Vehicle, the DMUV has been enhanced through the embodiment of advanced autonomy software and high-energy density lithium polymer batteries.

Compared to conventionally-sized unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), Proteus can carry much larger payloads and cover much greater distances than has previously been possible.

Furthermore, its energy capacity markedly reduces the need for frequent launch and recovery. HII in April 2016 announced that Proteus had successfully completed a 30-hour endurance test as part of simulated unmanned mission performed in a test tank.

ANTX was executed by NSWC Panama City in co-operation with HII, Battelle, Northrop Grumman, and Riptide Autonomous Solutions. The exercise covered aerial, surface, and underwater vehicle mission capability demonstrations through relevant operational scenarios, while communicating real-time mission performance to remote operations headquarters.

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[*] posted on 23-8-2017 at 09:44 PM


HII's Proteus demos battle space capabilities

23rd August 2017 - 12:30

by The Shephard News Team



Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has demonstrated the performance of its Proteus dual-mode undersea vehicle as part of the US Navy-hosted Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) in August.

Proteus, developed by HII and Battelle, is designed to deliver payloads, such as divers or smaller UUVs, at distances of hundreds of miles in either manned or unmanned mode. 

During ANTX a range of aerial, surface and underwater vehicle advance mission capability demonstrations were carried out, while communicating real-time mission performance to remote operations headquarters, using technology from a number of developers.

For the underwater mission segment, Proteus entered a contested battlespace and delivered and launched three smaller UUVs with unique roles. Following the launch, Riptide’s micro-UUVs and Northrop Grumman’s Remus UUV successfully executed mission plans using their onboard sensors and payloads to investigate and prepare the contested battlespace.

Ross Lindman, director of operations, Undersea Solutions Group, said: 'ANTX provided us an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Proteus’ capabilities to navy leadership, the navy technical community and our industry partners as we work to meet the navy's future requirements.'
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[*] posted on 24-8-2017 at 07:12 PM


Northrop Grumman conducts collaborative UUV mission at ANTX 2017

Geoff Fein - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

23 August 2017

Northrop Grumman demonstrated the ability to undertake multidomain autonomous command and control (C2) at the US Navy’s Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) 2017, held at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Panama City Division, Florida.

The company used two unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and three unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), as well as a manned helicopter representing a Northrop Grumman Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle to conduct a seabed warfare mission.

The exercise demonstrated the ability of the Proteus UUV, provided by Huntington Ingalls Industries and Battelle, to deploy a Kongsberg Remus 100 UUV and two Riptide Autonomous Solutions UUVs (a manportable and micro variant) in order to locate, surveil, and ultimately engage with an undersea threat at the bottom of St Andrews Bay, Panama City, Jeff Hoyle, director, undersea warfare, for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, told Jane’s .

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[*] posted on 23-9-2017 at 01:24 PM


DSEI 2017: SRS details Fusion hybrid UUV

Charles Hollosi - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

22 September 2017



Strategic Robotic Systems (SRS) presented its Fusion hybrid unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) system at DSEI 2017.

In the military sphere the Fusion system has applications in mine countermeasures, port and harbour security, and ship inspection tasks, and is being marketed as a simple, cost-effective, and efficient solution by combining three commonly used functions – autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and diver propulsion and navigation into a single system.

The Fusion vehicle can operate in a variety of roles. (David Carl)
Designed using computational fluid dynamics to optimise speed, stability, and endurance, the underwater vehicle, which weighs 27.5kg in air and has neutral buoyancy in fresh water, has been constructed of composites where possible. with minimal use of stainless steel to reduce magnetic signature. The vehicle is 686 mm in length, 477 mm wide, and 285 mm in height, and has a depth rating of 300m.

Six identical brushless DC thrusters (four vectored and two vertical) propel the vehicle forward at 4–5 kt and provide 16.4 kgf of bollard thrust. Lateral speed is 2.4 kt and vertical speed 2 kt. Power is provided by two 457 W/hr lithium-ion battery packs, which provide 3–4 hours of endurance under typical conditions and can be swapped in minutes.

Fusion’s suite of navigation systems include a Blueprint Subsea SeaTrac Ultra Short Baseline (USBL) with a modem for acoustic communications with the surface, a Nortek high-frequency Doppler Velocity Log and altimeter for accurate bottom track and terrain following capability, an Attitude Heading Reference System, and GPS when at the surface.



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[*] posted on 4-10-2017 at 08:38 PM


Fly by wire: Sea Wasp navigates underwater counter-IED domain

Dr. Lee Willett - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

04 October 2017



Key Points
- Saab’s Sea Wasp ROV is being operated by three users in the US, and has been tested by the UK and Swedish navies
- Drawing on these tests and further work, Saab is aiming to develop a production model within the next 12 months

Security at sea has grown as a global strategic issue over the last decade. International reliance on maritime trade, the threats posed at sea by non-state actors, and the resurgence of state-on-state naval rivalry have seen governments focus increasingly on the security of the world’s maritime network, including ports and harbours, critical national infrastructure, narrow waterways, and strategic choke points.

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[*] posted on 30-12-2017 at 12:23 PM


General Atomics to develop permanent-magnet propulsion motor for LDUUV

Richard Scott - Jane's Navy International

29 December 2017

Key Points
- General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems is to develop and build an advanced permanent-magnet propulsion motor for use in the USN’s LDUUV programme
- Characterisation and testing will be conducted by Penn State University Applied Research Laboratory

The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has awarded General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS ) a contract to design and deliver an advanced permanent-magnet propulsion motor intended for use in the US Navy’s (USN’s) Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV) programme.

Designed to provide increased endurance, long range, and payload hosting, the LDUUV is characterised as a modular, open architecture, reconfigurable unmanned underwater vehicle that will be delivered through a series of phased increments.

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[*] posted on 4-1-2018 at 09:53 PM


MantaDroid could be the wet, electric, flapping robotic sea scout of the future

By: Kelsey Atherton   19 hours ago


Designed by researchers at the National University of Singapore, the MantaDroid is a manta-inspired robot that propels itself through the water by flapping two flexible wings, and letting fluid dynamics take care of the rest. (National University of Singapore)

Consider the manta. The flat, slick body, at home on the ocean’s surface or hiding in the muck of the ocean floor; the subtle movement, flapping through water. The ubiquity of rays, from smaller variants to the massive mantas, in oceans the world around. The manta is a fascinating creature, and so it should come as no surprise that the manta also makes a fascinating body for an underwater robot.

Designed by researchers at the National University of Singapore, the MantaDroid is a manta-inspired robot that propels itself through the water by flapping two flexible wings, and letting fluid dynamics take care of the rest. Each wing is powered by only a single electrical motor each, so the machine has efficiency as well as a snazzy appearance going for it. The robot is small: just shy of 14 inches long and two feet wide. And it’s also light, with the simple body weighing in at only 1.5 pounds. It moves at about 1.6 mph, or twice its body length per second, but what’s really impressive is that it can operate for up to 10 hours.

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/XzO_XAQ2_xw

What makes the robot relevant here, though, is not just its efficient motion body or animal-inspired body. What’s relevant is that the MantaDroid is designed to be a future underwater surveillance platform.

From the National University of Singapore:


Quote:

MantaDroid makes a promising alternative to traditional propeller-based thrusters used in conventional AUVs, and could potentially operate for a longer range. Like the real manta ray, MantaDroid also has a flat and wide body that can accommodate a range of sensors and be utilised for different purposes such as studying marine biodiversity, measuring hydrographic data and performing search operations.


Putting sensors in an animal-shaped body, especially one that can efficiently navigate the ocean for hours at a time, would make a pretty inconspicuous platform for whoever used it. While the researchers focus on the scientific and public safety aspects of the MantaDroid, the platform would also make a captivating military asset, especially if it could find a way to recharge while out at sea. (There is also the ethical considerations of a surveillance tool disguised as a vulnerable species, and what sort of second-order consequences that might entail).

Military dreams of ghost rays will have to wait for further testing. The next steps for the robot are testing at different depths and withstanding currents. Still, it’s not hard to imagine a future where robot rays scout the shallows of an unfamiliar coast days before humans follow, the gentle flaps of robot flippers on sand masking footsteps.
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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 07:19 PM


China's Underwater Glider Completes Indian Ocean, S. China Sea Missions

(Source: Global Times; issued Jan 05, 2018)

China's underwater glider successfully ended its mission to the Indian Ocean and South China Sea, and a Chinese expert said other countries should rationally view China's deep sea explorations.

China's independently-developed underwater glider, Haiyi, which means "sea wings" in Chinese, has successfully completed a scientific observation in the Indian Ocean, marking the first time that the country's indigenous underwater glider was used in this ocean, the Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

The mission, between December 11, 2017 and January 2, 2018, was meant to observe the interaction between global climate change and marine conditions, Yu Jiancheng, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' (CAS) Shenyang Institute of Automation, the glider's developer, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The underwater glider was used to monitor the deep-sea environment in vast areas, Yu said. After diving into the Indian Ocean on December 11, 2017, Haiyi obtained 190 pieces of data on its 705-kilometer journey, Yu added.

Before its Indian Ocean mission, the glider also accomplished a three-month mission in the South China Sea in October 2017, when it reached a record distance of over 1,880 kilometers while collecting data for scientific research.

The deep water landscape and water conditions in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean differ considerably, and the missions in different region will also help China contribute more to international scientific research, Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Such explorations are open and transparent as they are for scientific purposes and not for military use. They should not be politicized or hyped by India and countries surrounding the South China Sea," Chen said.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 10-1-2018 at 12:44 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
"Such explorations are open and transparent as they are for scientific purposes and not for military use. They should not be politicized or hyped by India and countries surrounding the South China Sea," Chen said.


Well, if they passed all the data obtained out to their fellow civilian research fellows in other nations then there would be no reason to claim that China was conducting military research and surveillance ops, now would there?




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[*] posted on 10-1-2018 at 05:55 PM


What data? Half of their so-called quasi-military technology is purely for show...................they learnt disinformation from the Russians don't forget...............
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[*] posted on 12-1-2018 at 05:54 PM


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[*] posted on 12-1-2018 at 05:55 PM


Saab set to demo an underwater drone that pretends to be a sub

By: David B. Larter   12 hours ago


Saab's AUV62-AT drone, which mimics a submarine, will be demonstrated to the U.S. Navy this summer. (Image courtesy of Saab)

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Swedish defense firm Saab is set to demonstrate for the U.S. Navy an underwater drone that simulates a submarine, making it easier for ships and aircraft to practice anti-submarine warfare.

The company announced Tuesday that it was preparing to demonstrate its AUV62-AT drone for the Navy as part of the Foreign Comparative Testing program. The testing will start in the summer of 2018 and there is an option for more resting in 2019.

The drone, which is based on the company’s T-62 torpedo, mimics the acoustic signature of a submarine so that ships can get in their reps and sets on ASW, but spares the Navy the need to dispatch one of its busy submarines to aid with that training.

The company claims the AUV62-AT “fully replaces the use of a submarine in the role as a maneuvering training target,” and says it is already in use in several countries around the world.
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[*] posted on 15-1-2018 at 10:12 PM


Persistent autonomy: CMRE demonstrates sustained operations in AUV underwater docking trials

Dr. Lee Willett - Jane's International Defence Review

15 January 2018

• The technology also offers capacity for underwater data transfer to and from the AUV

As navies seek to improve their presence despite largely reduced manned platform numbers, augmenting surveillance capacity using unmanned systems has become a major focus for customers and suppliers. One primary area is the underwater domain, which is a crucible of strategic competition, as navies build greater underwater capability, as asymmetric threats increase, and as countries seek to protect assets such as critical national infrastructure, maritime territories, and natural resources.


The Folaga AUV prepared for deployment in the trials. The Folaga AUV is a system that NATO’s CMRE has worked closely with. (NATO CMRE)

In the subsurface domain, significant research and development (R&D) resources have been invested in autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

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[*] posted on 25-2-2018 at 09:29 PM


Video: D19 multi-role autonomous underwater vehicle

Posted On Friday, 23 February 2018 17:33

French company Naval Group opened the doors of its underwater weapon facility in Saint-Tropez so that Navy Recognition may bring you an exclusive video report on the latest technologies in terms of torpedoes, AUVs and anti-torpedo countermeasures. The site located on the French Riviera has been developing and producing underwater weapons and systems since 1912.


Naval Group designed the D19 to accomplish a wide range of missions, including ISR, electronic warfare, training, maritime interdiction etc. Naval Group image.

D19 is Naval Group's first autonomous underwater military drone designed to equip surface vessels and submarines. Capitalizing on its know-how in the area of torpedoes and mobile underwater targets, Naval Group designed the D19 to accomplish a wide range of missions, including ISR, electronic warfare, training, maritime interdiction etc.

Equipped with modular payload at the front end, which can be easily switched thanks to a plug-and-play system, D19 can fulfill a wide variety of missions:
- identification, surveillance, reconnaissance,
- electronic warfare,
- anti-submarine warfare,
- underwater mobile target,
- mine countermeasures,
- rapid environmental assessment,
- act as a smart underwater mine

Video: D19 autonomous underwater vehicle:
https://youtu.be/m1P0YC-LFTI

Already sea proven for different missions thanks to the joint effort of Naval Group and French Navy, the D19 combines long endurance and intelligence to offer a wide range of operational employment. It can be launched by submarine, vessel or from the shore. Its payload is modular according to the mission.

The D19 AUV is built on a F21 torpedo base. This way, Naval Group takes advantage of its experience accumulated with the development of this torpedo. The D19 is propelled by a Lithium-ion energy section.
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[*] posted on 10-3-2018 at 02:15 PM


Polish team developing stealth AUVs

Krzysztof Kuska, Poznan - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

09 March 2018

Poland’s Gdańsk University of Technology is working on autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) with stealth capabilities, primarily for reconnaissance and counter-mining missions.

Professor Mirosław Gerigk, head of the state-funded project, told Jane’s that two types of AUV were being developed. The smaller one will have a weight of about 350 kg and be approximately 2 m in length, 1 m wide, and 40 cm high. It will reach a speed of around 2 m/s while underwater and the batteries will allow it to stay submerged for six hours in standby mode or conduct two hour-long missions.

The larger AUV will weigh up to 900 kg, with 4 m length, 2 m width, and 70 cm height.

(139 of 362 words)
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[*] posted on 17-3-2018 at 02:50 PM


Kongsberg launches Flexview multibeam sonar

16th March 2018 - 10:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

Kongsberg Mesotech has launched its new Flexview multibeam sonar designed for small observation class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), the company announced on 13 March.

The Flexview is a compact and light weight system that provides distortion-free images at a range of up to 200m over a 140° sector, reducing the time it takes to search for and locate targets.

The Flexview's removable transducer allows damaged transducers to be replaced in the field, in the unlikely event of a catastrophic impact. It also allows for potential new transducer configurations to be exchanged in the future, depending on the task being performed.

Konrad Mech, director, subsea channel management, Kongsberg Maritime, said: ‘Kongsberg Mesotech is excited to make target acquisition at long range a reality for observation-class ROV users with our new sonar. During our customer focus groups, we heard that users wanted the maximum range possible with good resolution. We are confident that Flexview is the solution to this request and will bring significant benefits.

‘We are also aware that a sonar can be damaged during deployment and removal, impacting field operations and requiring factory repair with very long cycle times. Flexview offers customers rapid field replacement of the transducer simply by removing four cap screws, without compromising integrity of the electronics housing.’
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[*] posted on 10-4-2018 at 10:46 PM


L3 Unveils Advanced Iver Autonomous Undersea Vehicle

(Source: L3 Technologies; issued April 9, 2018)


L3 Technologies' Iver Precision Workhorse autonomous undersea vehicle with low-drag side scan and bathymetry transducers. (L3 photo)

NEW YORK --- L3 Technologies announced today that its new Iver Precision Workhorse (Iver PW) autonomous undersea vehicle (AUV) will be featured at its exhibit (Booth 2339) at the 2018 Sea-Air-Space Exposition hosted by the Navy League April 9–11, 2018, at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

The new Iver PW is the first in a family of advanced, highly capable military AUVs to address a wide variety of customer missions, including multi-domain intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), seabed warfare and mine warfare.

“L3 is making strategic investments in advanced C6ISR capabilities that position us as a prime integrator in the emerging undersea market,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3’s Chief Executive Officer and President. “Iver PW offers a broad range of innovative technologies to our U.S. Navy and international customers to aid in executing their missions.”

Iver AUVs support a range of military AUV tasks, with longer endurance, enhanced reliability and survivability, multi-sensor support and increased autonomy. With advanced capabilities, the new Iver PW extends critical features that have made the Iver product family the AUV of choice for military and commercial missions.

“The Iver PW demonstrates L3’s ingenuity and customer focus in developing next-generation processing, autonomy and power technologies to enable new capabilities and missions for a real-time tactical advantage in the field,” said Jeff Miller, L3’s Senior Vice President and President of its Sensor Systems business segment.

The company plans to demonstrate other AUV technologies at Sea-Air-Space, including its novel aluminum-water AUV power module developed by L3 Open Water Power for lithium-free safety and extended range, as well as its theatre ASW simulator developed by L3 Adaptive Methods.

Visit L3 in Booth 2339 to view these demonstrations and more.

The Iver PW is developed and manufactured by L3 OceanServer in Fall River, Massachusetts, which is part of the Advanced Programs sector within L3’s Sensor Systems business segment. Since its inception in 2003, L3 OceanServer has sold more than 300 AUVs worldwide, providing highly capable solutions to a broad array of military, commercial and international customers.

Headquartered in New York City, L3 Technologies employs approximately 31,000 people worldwide and is a leading provider of a broad range of communication, electronic and sensor systems used on military, homeland security and commercial platforms. L3 is also a prime contractor in aerospace systems, security and detection systems, and pilot training. The company reported 2017 sales of $9.6 billion.

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[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 08:03 PM


Houston Mechatronics Unveils Aquanaut Shape-Shifting Underwater Robot

Posted On Monday, 30 April 2018 11:35

Houston Mechatronics announced their revolutionary new subsea robot, Aquanaut. Aquanaut is a multipurpose subsea robot which employs a patented shape-shifting transformation from an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), removing the need for vessels and tethers. The vehicle enables both the efficient collection of data over long distances as well as manipulation of subsea objects at a significantly lower cost than today's technology.


Artist impression of Aquanaut. Houston Mechatronics image.

"We firmly believe that this technology is a revolution in subsea robotics. Aquanaut, and our tightly coupled over-the-horizon software Commander, enables Houston Mechatronics to deliver more feature rich, safer subsea services to commercial and defense customers that demand it," said Houston Mechatronics CEO Matthew Ondler. "Our team developed some of the most advanced robots that NASA ever produced and has been developing advanced subsea robotics technology for confidential customers for years. Aquanaut represents the pinnacle of our company's expertise and experience and we are beyond excited to introduce this vehicle to customers."


Aquanaut transforming from Excursion mode to WorkClass mode. Houston Mechatronics image.

Nic Radford, CTO of Houston Mechatronics, remarked that, "We saw a great opportunity to fundamentally change the commercial and defense subsea markets with Aquanaut.

Aquanaut was designed to operate over-the-horizon with onshore operator supervision. We have removed the need for onsite vessels (and people) from subsea work while still maintaining the operator's situational awareness and the ability to modify missions, which our customers demand. Our capability can truly transform industries. For the warfighter, this means increasing the standoff distance therefore resulting in safer conditions. For commercial customers, this means that we can provide more capability than they have today for much less cost."

Houston Mechatronics will be presenting the Aquanaut at both the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston Texas, and the AUVSI Xponential Conference in Denver, Colorado.
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[*] posted on 2-5-2018 at 04:03 PM


The US Military Is Funding a Giant Transformer Robot Sub

By Patrick Tucker
Technology Editor

May 1, 2018


Patrick Tucker

The future of countermine operations could look like a big bug that can swim for hundreds of kilometers.

DENVER, Colorado — Want to de-mine a patch of ocean floor in hostile waters, deposit classified payloads off an enemy coast, shut off a broken oil valve, or just fight krakens? Texas-based startup Houston Mechatronics on Tuesday unveiled a giant, transforming robotic submarine, partially backed by the Defense Department, for deep-sea precision missions.

The Aquanaut unmanned underwater vehicle, or UUV, can chug beneath the ocean’s surface for hundreds of kilometers and then transform into a vaguely insect-like robot to perform delicate operations in the watery depths. Its biggest backers are players in the oil and gas exploration like Transocean, which are looking to better maintain oil rigs, offshore equipment, and help with operations. Houston Mechatronics co-founder and chief technical officer Nicholas Radford said the robots might would travel from site to site, like a frog swimming from one lily pad to another without ever having to be pulled out of the water.

“‘We intend to blanket the Gulf of Mexico,” he said.

While big oil is the primary investor, the Defense Department — through the Defense Advanced Research Concepts Agency, the Navy, and what Radford described as other “folks in the community” — have also contributed “good cash” toward the development of the Aquanaut. The near-term objective is counter-mine missions “in area-denied water, or where you don’t want the presence of a top-side vessel,” he said.

The robot, which can extend from 2.87 meters to 3.5 meters with its arms out, can travel hundreds of kilometers between sites. Once the arms come out, the operator directs the puppet show over an acoustic modem with a range of tens of kilometers.

“Autonomy is a big deal,” especially for military customers, said Radford, but added that for the difficult arm manipulation operations, “We think you can get higher realizations of value in theatre with a human still in the loop [operating the robot] at a low data rate.”
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