Sea Technology

JUN 2018

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Page 25 of 52 June 2018 | ST 25 variety of ocean environments. The AUV- USV idea will lead to more efficient, safer and cost-effective seafloor mapping oper- ations. The Concept The core of the team's technology inno- vation was the design of an ocean-capable USV with capabilities for the launch, man- agement and recovery of a deepwater-capable AUV. The USV acts as the mothership and operational con- trol hub with no offshore human involvement. It rapidly transits to a survey site, launches the AUV, and provides surface support, communication/control links and AUV tracking during the survey. The USV then recovers the AUV to return it back to shore. This allowed the team to maximize survey time by conserving AUV battery power during transit. Hush Craft SEA-KIT USV. The USV SEA-KIT Maxlimer was designed and built by Hush Craft Ltd. to act as the surface support vessel for the AUV. As per Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE requirements, the SEA-KIT USV is transportable using a standard 40-ft. ISO container to al- low for rapid deployment. The team was the first client for the new Kongsberg Maritime K-MATE Autonomy Controller, which was installed on Max- limer. The software was developed through collaboration between Forsvarets Forsk- ningsinstitutt (FFI) and Kongsberg Maritime AS, with ongoing development having oc- curred during sea trials in Horten, Norway. K-MATE provides adaptive waypoint fol- lowing for survey and AUV operations, as well as providing other autonomous func- tions required for safe offshore unmanned operations. K-MATE is an autonomous system that can execute a mission plan for globally supervised operations. The USV Maxlimer was also coded through the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency as a Small Commercial Vessel Category 3 that allowed it to carry two people on board up to 20 nm offshore. Having crew on board reduced complexity during sea trials and the technology development stage. The USV SEA-KIT Maxlimer can be op- erated in four modes: manual (from the physical helm of the USV), remote control (from a dedicated handset for short-range unmanned control), autonomous remote (operator commands vessel functions from remote station using K-MATE interface), or fully autonomous (way- point and/or AUV following with the vessel fully controlled by K-MATE). These multiple modes of operation were utilized during AUV launch and recovery, where Maxlimer acts as the traditional AUV host vessel to allow remote access to manage AUV oper- ations. Maxlimer utilizes live-stream- ing hi-definition CCTV cameras (with IR for night vision) mounted on the mast to maintain situational awareness during operations. Maxlimer's operat- ing mode can also switch from autono- mous to remote controlled as required during the mission. Maxlimer was fit- ted with the Kongsberg HiPAP 351P-MGC SSBL system, which was used for AUV positioning and as a command and data link for the AUV. Maxlimer is equipped with the Kongsberg Seapath 130 positioning system, which enabled accurate position data to be transmitted to the AUV. The SEA-KIT USV was designed to exceed competi- tion goals, not only for sustainable bathymetric survey- ing operations but also as a multi-role vessel with un- inhabited and autonomous capabilities over and above the competition brief as an AUV mothership. It was de- signed as an offshore-capable vessel that can operate in significant sea states and carry a deployable and re- trievable payload of up to 2.5 tons. At 11.75 m (38.55 ft.) in length, with a beam of 2.2 m (7.218 ft.), the USV Photo Credit: Lew Abramson Photo Credit: Lew Abramson Photo Credit: Alex DeCiccio (Top to Bottom) OFG's HUGIN AUV Cher- cheur launching from the USV. A closeup of OFG's HUGIN AUV Chercheur. The AUV Chercheur lining up for retrieval onto the USV Maxlimer.

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