SeaTrepid has partnered with Ocean Infinity to develop a multiple autonomous vehicle program. The program will conduct wide area high-resolution surveys in shallow to ultra-deep waters resulting in a force multiplier of up to 6X above traditional methods. The flotilla, made up of six Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and six USVs, has the ability to be deployed from a single Host Support Vessel (HSV) to perform different mapping and exploration operations subsea. Developed with a modular design for rapid response, two complete AUV systems can be sent anywhere in the world in order to commence emergency operations while the HSV is in transit to the emergency location.
In January of 2016, the development of the AUV program was initiated with the procurement of six 6,000 meter HUGIN AUVs manufactured by Kongsberg Maritime (KM). In early July, ASV Global Ltd. was awarded a contract for the design and build six Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) for tracking of the subsea vehicles. Simultaneously, Denith Engineering was awarded with the design and build of two USV launch and recovery systems (LARS) for the deployment and recovery of the ASV-designed USVs. Each USV LARS will accommodate three USVs per system.
The USVs are designed with two diesel powered engines per vehicle featuring endurance of greater than 140 hours. The USVs will be equipped with mesh radio for telemetry between the HSV and USV, and KM HiPAP 502s for acoustic telemetry and positioning between the USV and AUV. The USVs will include advanced collision avoidance and standard navigation sensors. Dan Hook, Managing Director, ASV Global said “We are delighted to be supplying six new USVs into this ground-breaking project. The SeaWorker’s have been designed specifically as a ruggedized workboat, capable of carrying large payloads and handling varying weather conditions and water depths. The ASView™ Control System will allow for the reliable and safe operation of the six vehicles”.
Denith Engineering has designed a slewing davit LARS capable of rotating 180⁰ with three carriages for deck storage of the USVs. Robert Denovan, founder and CEO of Denith stated, “We feel that a new challenge is a gift from our clients to drive our continual improvement.”
This program offers a turnkey solution that is a flexible survey sensor delivery system from the surface to the deep ocean seafloor. This innovative program offers a cost efficient method by lowering the vessel supported operations cost (per unit area surveyed). The program is projected to be launched mid-2017 with first operations off the coast of Africa.