Norway's Kongsberg Maritime has announced the next generation of its HUGIN Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) that can carry out long missions without a mothership.
Named HUGIN Endurance, Kongsberg Maritime says its new AUV boosts operational duration to approximately 15 days, enabling extended survey and inspection missions far from shore.
"This longevity allows HUGIN Endurance to undertake extensive missions without the support of a mothership. Shore-to-Shore operations offer the opportunity to reduce carbon footprint for commercial activities and yet retain unrivaled data resolution and accuracy.
"With this in mind, KONGSBERG has added its Maritime Broadband Radio (MBR) communications system to HUGIN Endurance’s payload, allowing it to surface and share large quantities of data swiftly with any suitably equipped installation, such as another vessel, shore station or a wind turbine fitted with an MBR antenna," Kongsberg Maritime said.
"For defense applications, HUGIN Endurance makes persistence a reality. Whether it is long-range military survey; wide-area mine detection, classification, and identification; or even patrolling a chokepoint listening for submarines, this new extended-range capability offers new solutions to existing and future challenges," Kongsberg maritime said.
According to the company, HUGIN Endurance can be equipped with a wide array of sensors including the high-resolution KONGSBERG HiSAS synthetic aperture sonar, a wide swath multibeam echo sounder, sub-bottom profiler and magnetometer, together with other sensors to detect parameters such as methane, current and turbidity.
The new AUV, per Kongsberg, is well equipped for advanced situational awareness scanning, and mapping/inspection activities for far-field applications such as offshore wind farms.
"It also delivers significant sustainability benefits, not only when contrasted with conducting operations from surface vessels but also compared with other AUV operations, as the reduction in the need for surface support further diminishes the environmental footprint," the company said.
“We are proud to launch HUGIN Endurance, which represents a step-change in AUV operations,” says Richard Mills, Vice President of Marine Robotics Sales, Kongsberg Maritime.
"Teaming long endurance with large area coverage capabilities allows a single AUV to map areas up to 1,100 square kilometers in a single mission – a target impossible until now. With its unprecedented long-range capability and advanced communications, HUGIN Endurance sets a new standard for autonomous subsea mapping and inspection, yielding unmatched operational flexibility, efficiency, and sustainability."