The UK-based underwater positioning and communications technology company Sonardyne International Ltd has initiated a collaborative project to drive a major step change in ocean system autonomy for long-endurance autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).
The aim of the Innovate UK-supported Precise Positioning for Persistent AUVs (P3AUV) project is to enable AUVs to operate at high levels of navigation performance with less surface support and for longer periods.
The provider of underwater acoustic, inertial, optical and sonar technology said in a release that with partners L3 ASV and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Sonardyne will focus on longer-term navigational accuracy for AUVs in deep water, while reducing power requirements and increasing autonomy in marine operations.
The P3AUV project will involve trials using Sonardyne’s leading underwater positioning technology on the NOC’s Autosub Long Range (ALR) and L3 ASV’s C-Worker 7 autonomous surface vehicle (ASV). The project, which will include trials in Loch Ness next month, is due to run until late 2019.
The project will focus on three key areas. One will be increasing long-duration navigational accuracy by integrating low- and high-power Inertial Navigation System (INS) sensors.
Geraint West, Global Business Manager - Oceanographic, Sonardyne said, "The accuracy of low-power sensors degrades over time and AUVs consequently often have to surface to reinitialise with a GPS fix. However, by including high-performance, high-power navigation instruments, like our SPRINT INS, and integrating them with the low-power instruments to dramatically reduce power consumption, vehicle operators will get the best of both worlds, which will enable longer-duration independent deployments."
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