Kongsberg Maritime is focusing visitor attention on its autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) at EXPONAVAL 2018 this week, as well as unmanned surface vessels (USV).
“The concept of autonomy is a current trend in both naval and civil marine domains. You no longer need to be actually in the place, because technology allows you to have a presence at a remote level and that is where we concentrate the effort in Kongsberg: both in data transmission and in vehicles. We believe that the trend is going to continue to evolve. With the remote concept you do not need to be physically present anymore,” explained the company’s Subsea Manager South America, Vicente Carrasco.
The Norwegian company is showcasing its HUGIN family AUVs, available in 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 and 4,500m depth variants, demonstrating the utility of autonomy in environments impossible for human beings to operate in.
"The submarine ARA SAN JUAN de ARGENTINA was found using our technology, with our submarine robot that the North American company Ocean Infinity used. The AUV is an autonomous underwater vehicle: in this case the ARA SAN JUAN was at a depth of 945m and this AUV can go down to 6,000. This vehicle has a very high level of autonomy and precision navigation,” explained Mr Carrasco, adding that in South America the Peruvian Navy has two such vehicles. Relevant AUV technology features side scan sonars, multibeam echolocation probes, marine subsurface profilers, high definition cameras, conductivity, temperature and depth sensors, self-adjusting magnetometers, synthetic aperture sonar and turbidity sensors.
Mr Carrasco also revealed a USV suggestion for the Chilean Navy. "We are proposing to the Chilean Navy a complement for the ANTARCTIC 1 icebreaker (under construction), with an autonomous hydrological vessel, because working conditions in the Antarctic are very harsh; you have to replace people every five or six hours because the human being cannot survive long in those conditions. The autonomous vehicle can be working for five days. There are different models which can measure between 5-10m and can be controlled at a 50km distance.”
Kongsberg is also showing its Maritime Communications Team MBR (Maritime Broadband Radio), which allows data, voice and video transmission over distance.