AUV Project Boosts Endurance, Navigation

A two-year project has delivered a step-change in unmanned platform endurance and navigational precision.

The £1.4 million ($1.8 million) Precise Positioning for Persistent Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (P3AUV) project, led by subsea technology specialist Sonardyne International Ltd., with partners the National Oceanography Center (NOC) and L3Harris, and part funded by Innovate UK, has set new standards for long-endurance underwater navigation and automated subsea positioning of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).

In addition, the project also set out to increase the use of autonomy in offshore survey positioning operations using unmanned surface vessels (USV), and in the process reducing risk to personnel, environmental impact and operating costs.

The final project trials, which also saw one of the NOC’s largest deployment of AUVs operating in swarms, were completed this month in Loch Ness, Scotland.

“Sending autonomous and unmanned underwater vehicles (AUV/UUVs) out on missions that will last for weeks or even months, unaided by crewed ships is a shared vision held by the ocean science, offshore energy and defence sectors,” says Geraint West, Sonardyne’s Global Business Manager for Ocean Science. “But, current constraints on AUV or UUV operations, such as onboard battery capacity and navigational accuracy degradation over time, has meant that the role these vehicles have had to play has been largely restricted to relatively short deployments.

“As the only company that produce....

read more from oedigital.com