Sea Technology

JUN 2018

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26 ST | June 2018 www.sea-technology.com Chercheur. This vehicle is equipped with the Kongsberg HISAS 1032, a high-specification deepwater interfero- metric synthetic aperture sonar that was used to collect bathymetric and imagery data. Ocean Floor Geophys- ics also brought considerable experience in operating a commercial AUV, and their personnel have diverse AUV experience in all aspects of operations, system integra- tion and design, as well as mission planning. OFG had a compatible philosophical approach with an R&D back- ground focused on selection, design and integration of sensors. Sea Trials The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Round One challenge was original- ly scheduled to take place in Puerto Rico during the fall of 2017. However, Puerto Rico (along with the rest of the northeastern Caribbean) was hit hard by Hurricane Maria in the 2017 hurricane season. Maria was the worst storm they had seen in 90 years and resulted in the postponement of Round One. On Octo- ber 20, 2017, XPRIZE management in- formed teams that due to infrastructure damage in Puerto Rico, the Round One field test would be replaced by Shell Ocean Discovery Technology Readi- ness Tests and would be conducted in- dividually in a location chosen by each team. The 11 criteria for judging were announced later that month. Sea trials for the GEBCO-NF Alumni Team were con- ducted at the Kongsberg Maritime AS facilities in Horten, Norway, in the second half of 2017, and the Technology Readiness Test was held November 2017. The extended sea trials allowed the team to fully research the capa- bilities and limitations of the concept system, maximize sonar coverage and performance, and understand the in- tegration and management of the AUV and USV systems to ensure reliable operations without physical interven- tion at sea. The survey operations, including launch and recovery, were managed from the land-based operation center— with an operations manager, an AUV pilot and a USV control team. Communication between the operation center and the USV and AUV was facilitated by a Kongs- berg Maritime marine broadband radio (MBR). At the start of a mission, the USV began autonomous waypoint following and obtained a steady course. Once the USV was at the launch point and the AUV operator gave the go-ahead for launch, the USV pilot started the conveyor and launched the AUV. The AUV waited for ap- proximately 45 sec. and then started running on the sur- face in line with the path of the USV. The AUV then dove quickly so that the USV could pick up the AUV's HiPAP signal and locate it. Once the USV was tracking the AUV underwater, the USV was put into AUV-following mode. In following mode, the USV attempts to maintain a fixed position with respect to the AUV as it completes its mis- SEA-KIT Maxlimer uses a Hushcraft diesel/electric hybrid propulsion system providing 20 kW of propulsion power. It is designed to have a range of 12,000 nm and endur- ance of 130 days at 4 kt., with standard fuel capacity of 2,000 liters. The SEA-KIT USV was designed to DNV GL ST0342 Craft standards for operations in any waters not requiring ice-class vessels. The maximum design speed for the SEA-KIT USV is 8 kt., with endurance linked to speed and daily charge. The development of the offshore operational models required for this new type of vessel is currently being undertaken by SEA-KIT International Ltd. to ensure that all unmanned operations are conducted in accordance with safe working practices. This will benefit the rapidly developing rule sets for commercial auton- omous maritime operations and will ensure that the in- vestment in the development of SEA-KIT USV Maxlimer for the XPRIZE competition is fully realized and utilized in the future. OFG's HUGIN AUV Chercheur. The GEBCO-NF Alumni Team chose the industry-leading HUGIN AUV developed by Kongsberg Maritime AS for this project, specifically Ocean Floor Geophysics' HUGIN AUV (Top) High-resolution spot-processed HISAS imagery of a rock outcropping draped onto gridded bathymetry. Inset: The trajectory of the AUV and USV during the Technology Readiness Test. (Bottom) SEA-KIT USV during sea trials in Horten, Norway. Photo Credit: Kelly Duncan

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