Ocean Infinity, a U.S. based marine survey firm developing the world's largest fleet of unmanned surface vessels - Armada - has ordered Sonardyne sensors for its robotic vessels.
As reported previously, Ocean Infinity in February launched Armada, a marine technology and data company boasting the industry's largest fleet of unmanned surface vehicles (USV).
Sonardyne said Wednesday it would provide the first wave of Ocean Infinity’s new Armada fleet with key sensor technologies for underwater platform navigation, tracking, control, and communications, as well as ensuring uninterrupted surface navigation, even when global navigation satellite system (GNSS) services are degraded or denied.
The low-emission robotic fleet will initially see 17 bespoke designed uncrewed vessels added to Ocean Infinity’s existing robotics fleet.
The vessels will be able to perform offshore data acquisition and intervention in both shallow and deepwater operating regions. The vessels will use a range of underwater platforms, including remotely deploying autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
Sonardyne’s package includes surface and subsea navigation sensors to remotely support deployment, operations and recovery of underwater robotic systems from an uncrewed vessel, from anywhere in the world.
That includes being able to accurately track and control multiple robotics systems simultaneously and provide water current profile information, as well as support vessel dynamic positioning during critical phases of an operation.
According to Sonardyne, the systems also provide navigation redundancy in the event of GNSS outages, which could occur while operating in multipath or shadowed environments, such as fjords or near large structures or where signals are deliberately interfered with.
Delivery of Sonardyne equipment for the first wave of Armada fleet vessels will be made by the end of this year. Further deliveries will be made through 2021.
Alan MacDonald, Sales Manager, Sonardyne, says, “Over recent years, we’ve been focused in Sonardyne on developing the flexible technologies that are required to support the revolution that is taking place in both surface and subsea marine robotics. Consequently, we’re very pleased to be part of Armada’s pioneering vision to deploy robotics at scale. These systems will help a wide variety of industries to reduce how many people they need to send to sea as well as dramatically reduce CO2 emissions, by deploying these smaller, more efficient vessels out.”
Ocean Infinity expects the first Armada vessel to be delivered in 2021 and, along with the remainder of the fleet, will be controlled and operated by experienced mariners via satellite communication from onshore control facilities in Austin, Texas, and Southampton, England.