Hydroid, Inc., a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, the leading manufacturer of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), announced today that it has received a contract to deliver upgrades to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence’s current fleet of REMUS 100 vehicles. BlueView Technologies 3D MicroBathymetry systems and GeoAcoustics GeoSwath interferrometric sonar will now be integrated with the vehicles, ensuring greater capabilities for the Royal Navy’s mine clearance and hydrographic operations. The vehicles will also be fitted with modular endcaps and digital ultra-short baseline (USBL) acoustic positioning systems. Some of the fleet’s twelve REMUS 100 vehicles will be equipped with Inertial Navigation Systems as well.
Hydroid’s REMUS AUVs are modular and may be fitted with a large number of different types of sensors to meet the customer’s needs. In this case, the BlueView systems will provide high resolution 2D and 3D imagery in the region directly below the AUV – an area that often has a coverage gap which requires overlapping passes in order to cover the survey region. The 3D MicroBathymetry will fill that gap and eliminate the need for any overlapping passes.
GeoSwath interferometric sonar will allow for unprecedented rapid survey coverage in shallow waters. Interferometric sonar (IFMS) is an emergent technology that provides significant advantages in shoal areas where Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) use is not feasible or of too low a resolution to be useful. IFMS systems accurately measure depths at precise locations on the seafloor using exactly spaced phase differencing transducer elements.
“We are pleased that the Ministry of Defence has decided to update its fleet of REMUS 100 vehicles,” said Graham Lester, Director of Hydroid Europe. “Hydroid’s innovative use of gap filler BlueView sonar will greatly enhance the Royal Navy’s existing sidescan sonar area coverage rate on the REMUS 100, while the integration of the GeoSwath interferrometric sonar will be the first military use of this technology with an AUV”.
The Ministry of Defence’s current fleet of REMUS 100 vehicles has been in operation since March 2006. The Royal Navy also employs several REMUS 600 vehicles, which play a primary role in mine reconnaissance and also conduct hydrographic surveys and environmental assessments. The combined vehicles have provided reliable and proven capabilities for the Royal Navy’s underwater search and survey operations.
REMUS AUVs have been used to aid in hydrographic surveys, harbor security operations, debris field mapping, scientific sampling and mapping, as well as many basic and applied research programs funded by ONR and DARPA. With over 200 vehicles in the field, Hydroid is currently the AUV market leader with systems in use around the world.