Subsea firm Ocean Infinity has claimed to have undertaken the deepest dive by multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) commercial known.
The feat was achieved on 18 October, when the firm launched six HUGIN AUVs, each with an independent mission that has surpassed a water depth of 5200m. Ocean Infinity says this is also a first for six HUGIN AUVs to simultaneously descend further than 5000m.
The firm now plans to descend to 6000m with eight AUVs by mid-2018.
The firm has set out to prove a new way to carry out ocean surveys, by deploying multiple AUVs at a time from a single vessel.
In Q2 this year, the firm started sea trials, which completed in late July. Ocean Infinity has since performed surveys at five different locations using the multiple AUV fleet, which were all launched, monitored, and recovered from a 115m-long multiple purpose offshore vessel.
The mission of each AUV could be observed by the operators onboard the vessel and shown within a custom mission planning software InfinityView, developed by 4D Nav. The recovery of the AUVs for this mission began on the evening of 19 October.