Subsea Defense News

NORBIT DCT – Hydrographic Survey Made Easy

With the increasing number of maritime operations worldwide, more and more hydrographic surveys are required to be conducted. This exerts a demand for hydrography providers with survey capabilities ranging from single-beam to multibeam echosounders, sub-bottom profilers, lidar, and magnetometers. The developed markets with a long history of bathymetry and hydrography surveys are well prepared to serve the increased demand with professional hydrographers, equipment and software support. However, in emerging markets and developing countries, the professional hydrography market requires a different

Kraken President and CEO Karl Kenny (Photo: Eric Haun)

US Navy to Evaluate Kraken's AquaPix MINSAS

The U.S. Navy will evaluate Kraken sensors for man-portable autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) under a recently awarded $900,000 contract.Canadian-based Kraken Robotics Inc. announced Monday that its subsidiary Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. has been selected by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Comparative Test Office, to participate in a Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program in support of a U.S. Navy Program of Record managed by the Naval Sea Systems Command, EOD Program Office. The FCT is designed to test selected foreign technologies as evaluated by U.S. military operators, with a

Deploying the Kraken Katfish.

Offshore Survey Vessels: Ready for Faster Sensors

In 2009 I wrote a thesis on the use of unmanned systems for defense applications. At that time, the three buzz words of “dull, dirty and dangerous” dominated the narrative about what they are used for. Those words made perfect sense in the context of military applications where value is quantified in the effectiveness with which the mission is executed: you locate an explosive mine over the course of several hours searching without risk to humans and with less margin for human error. Fast forward 10 years, now in the role as CEO of LeeWay Marine, I am again evaluating robots, but from the

Photo: Kraken Robotics

Kraken Tallies $2.1 Million KATFISH Order

Canadian based marine technolgy firm Kraken Robotics said its Kraken Robotic Systems subsidiary has received a purchase order from ThayerMahan, for a KATFISH 180 towfish system. The contract value is $2.1 million, and delivery is expected in the third quarter of 2019.ThayerMahan, a US-based company specializing in the design, integration, and operation of autonomous maritime systems, will deploy Kraken’s KATFISH 180 as part of its SeaScout expeditionary system for seabed mapping and intelligence.Kraken’s KATFISH 180 is an actively stabilized towfish with synthetic aperture sonar (SAS)

Thyssenkrupp’s MUM concept. Image from Thyssenkrupp.

Robotics: The Next Gen in Subsea Vehicles

to enter the underwater domain is growing fast. The concepts vary, from underwater autonomous motherships able to carry an array of payloads over long distances to swarms of drop deployed ocean bottom nodes that can find their way to pre-programmed locations.At energy:connected, as the Oslo-based Subsea Valley cluster and annual conference is now called, some of these concepts were outlined, including those from two Norwegian technology firms and Germany’s Thyssenkrupp, a firm more used to designing naval submarine systems.  uSEA unveils uLARSOne, Norwegian technology start-up uSEA, is

Neil Gordon (Photo: Subsea UK)

Subsea UK: Exploring Underwater Robotics

Companies are being invited to highlight the advances in underwater robotic technology, including developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), autonomy and communication, at Subsea UK’s Underwater Robotics conference in Aberdeen later this year.  Sponsored by ROVOP and Saab Seaeye, the one day event will look at the new technology being developed by the industry and the potential which exists for advances in underwater robotics.The call for speakers is now open for the annual conference which will take place on Wednesday, September 18, at the Chester Hotel, Aberdeen.Abstracts are being

Aquanaut (Photo: Houston Mechatronics)

HMI to Develop AI-powered Subsea Manipulator Hands

US-based subsea robotics firm Houston Mechatronics, Inc. (HMI) said it has set out to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered robotic hands for subsea manipulators, under a recent award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR).As technology matures, subsea systems such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) and remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV) are increasingly serving in more important roles for applications such as offshore oil and gas and underwater defense.However, despite many technological advances over recent years, robots in the ocean typically do not have the manipulation

(Photo: Riptide)

BAE Systems Acquires Riptide

BAE Systems, Inc. has announced the purchase of the key assets of Riptide Autonomous Solutions, a Plymouth, Mass.-based provider of unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) technology and solutions.Specializing in small UUVs, Riptide’s platforms are deigned to be sophisticated yet simple, efficient and highly flexible, offering performance discriminators within this domain that include greater depth, range, endurance and speed.“Adding Riptide's technological capabilities will position us to provide customers unmatched flexibility by offeringa family of UUVs and integrated payload solutionscapab

A plasma-burning machine cuts the first steel plate that will be used to build the ballistic missile submarine Columbia (SSBN 826). Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII

Columbia Class Subs Take Shape in Virginia

A plasma-burning machine cut the first steel plate that will be used to build Columbia (SSBN 826), the lead ballistic missile submarine. As Newport News continues its digital transformation, the event also marked the first class of submarines that will be built using fully digital blueprints.“Today is a historic day,” said Jason Ward, Newport News’ vice president for Columbia-class construction. “It has been a half century since Newport News Shipbuilding has constructed a ballistic submarine. Today, we celebrate the decade-plus effort spent working with Electric Boat on the

U.S. Military personnel reviewing the SwarmDiver system during the U.S. Navy's Advanced Naval Technology Exercise in August 2018.  (Photo: UUV Aquabotix)

U.S. Military Trials Swarmdiver

UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV)  was awarded an approximate $150,000 contract for the purchase of its SwarmDiver system along with training and test support for the United States Military.This hardware and services sale will enable necessary government evaluation activities for the Military’s consideration of operational use of the product in theater.This award represents the fourth (4th) order placed by the United States Armed Forces related to the SwarmDiver family of vehicles since the product’s launch in April 2018. 

Photo:@BNR

Navy: $2.3B Deal for 12 Mine Hunting Ships

The Belgium Naval & Robotics consortium, composed of Naval Group and ECA Group, won the contract to supply 12 minehunting vessels to the Belgian and Dutch navies. Equipped with around 100 drones, constituting approximately 10 drone systems (toolboxes), six ships are destined for the Belgian Navy, while the other six will be delivered to the Dutch Navy.The 10-year contract is worth nearly $2.3B. After a three-year design phase, Belgium Naval & Robotics will launch the production phase of the ships and drone systems with a first delivery expected in 2024.The Belgium Naval & Robotics consortium

Photo: RTsys/French Navy

French Frigate Sonars Get an Upgrade

Since summer 2017, four vessels equipped with analog sonars have been upgraded using RTsys AS3i technology (Analog Surface Ship Sonar Improvement), which digitalized and improved the processing of signals rendered by sensors.Brittany-based company RTSYS does not only deals with AUV, subsea recorders and buoys, but can also display a full range of sonar systems such as handheld devices for divers or sonar retrofit. The latter of which led the French SME to lately offer in summer 2017 its services to the French Navy by upgrading analogue sonars on four frigates.In accordance with the ACORES public

Sonarydne’s BlueComm depressor in the water at Aldabra, during the Nekton First Descent mission. Photo: Nekton Oxford Deep Ocean Research Institute

Unheard Underwater: Covert Communications

Technology that has helped to achieve world firsts in ocean exploration broadcasting could also provide the answer for covert operations in the defense realm, where communications need to go unheard. Traditionally, wireless subsea communications use acoustic signals. Sound is practical, because it travels further through water than electromagnetic waves. Using sound, information can be shared over many km. Unfortunately, it is also relatively easy to hear those sounds and target the source using passive sensors; including when beyond the actual range at which the signals are effective. For

Riachuelo submarine during launching. Image Marinha do Brasil

World Navies: Brazil´s Riachuelo Submarine

steel, derived from what is used currently in French nuclear submarines. Some technologies used in the "Amethyste" and "Le Triomphant" (nuclear) classes, such as the SUBTICS system, are also used in Scorpène.Transfer of TechnologyThe agreement between Brazil and France for the Subsea Development Program (PROSUB) has three basic premises: technology transfer, nationalization of equipment and systems, and training of personnel. The technological transfer takes place in the areas of submarine design and construction and industrial infrastructure.The ToT for the construction of the

IDEX: Demo of Aquabotix SwarmDiver EDGE

Aquabotix demonstrated its recently launched SwarmDiver EDGE system at a special event coinciding with the International Defense Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, UAE last week. This was the first such public demonstration of the EDGE system, and the company showcased the product’s distinguishing features, including its capabilities to be used as a visual boundary and first line deterrent for various waterborne threats.The SwarmDiver EDGE system has been designed to alert for threats of manned and unmanned vehicles, including militarized vehicles and hobby drones with explosive

© marko okjan/AdobeStock

Naval Group inks $36B Submarine Contract

Australia signed a production contract with French shipbuilder Naval Group for a fleet of 12 new submarines, worth $35.5 billion, ending a two-year wrangle that cast doubt over one of the world's most lucrative defense deals.Australia selected the French builder as its preferred bidder for the fleet of submarines in 2016 ahead of other offers from Japan and Germany.However, final contracts were delayed amid domestic media reports of cost blowouts and production delays.Australia and Naval Group signed a Strategic Partnering Agreement, the overall contract to guide the construction, to end the

Photo: GENERAL DYNAMICS, European Land Systems

Meet PoBo: Floating Platform for Disaster Relief

GD European Land Systems develops floating platform for civil protection and disaster reliefGeneral Dynamics European Land Systems-Bridge Systems won a contract to develop a multi-functional, modular floating platform known as Pontoon Boat (PoBo). The project was awarded under the Innovation Program for the Support of Diversification Strategies of Defense Companies in Civil Security Technologies, or DIVERS. DIVERS is a program launched by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWI), with VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH as the responsible project executing agency."The PoBo is a

Logo: Aquabotix

Aquabotix Awarded U.S. Navy Project Contract

UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV) has announced that it has been awarded an approximately US$70,000 contract to support a United States Navy project. The project will involve further developments to Aquabotix’s SwarmDiver product. This initial development project will conclude with a testing and demonstration to various U.S. Navy personnel.Whitney Million, Aquabotix’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “This is a second project involving SwarmDiver and the United States Navy, in the last seven months. SwarmDiver can be used broadly, in numerous mission types. This development contract

Seagull fitted with KATFISH for remotely operated mine countermeasures and underwater surveillance
Photo: Kraken Robotics Inc.

Kraken Completes Sea Tests of KATFISH with Elbit Systems

Kraken Robotics' wholly owned subsidiary, Kraken Robotic Systems, has completed a series of successful sea tests of its KATFISH towed Synthetic Aperture Sonar system with Elbit Systems Ltd., a major international defense contractor based in Israel.Elbit Systems has developed a state-of-the-art Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) named “Seagull”. Seagull is a multi-mission USV platform boasting high autonomy levels and modular features, allowing it to be rapidly reconfigured for a wide array of missions – including anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures.“Elbit Systems&rsqu

Marines test the future of oceanic reconnaissance at Marine Corps Base Hawaii using an Iver unmanned underwater vehicle (Marine Corp photo by Sgt. Jesus Sepulveda Torres.) The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Note: visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

US Marine Corps Awards UUV Contract to L3 OceanServer

L3 OceanServer announced Thursday it has been awarded a contract to support the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command for an Iver3 unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) to be used for testing and evaluation.Over the past four years, L3 OceanServer has leveraged hundreds of thousands of operational hours on Iver vehicles to build a system with war fighter driven attributes. With more than 300 vehicles sold to various customers worldwide, the Iver is a commercial-off-the-shelf product that delivers the latest advances in technology with proven performance in real-world situations.The Iver is a purpose-built UUV

EdgeTech 2205 sonar image of ARA San Juan 230kHz at 400m range scale (Credit: Ocean Infinity)

Sonar Helps Find Missing Argentine Submarine

EdgeTech, a manufacturer of high-resolution sonar imaging systems and underwater technology, said its side scan sonar technology was used to help find the missing Argentine submarine, ARA San Juan, which was recently located in 900 meters of water off Argentina's Atlantic Coast after a yearlong search.The deepwater search was performed by Ocean Infinity and its advanced fleet of 6,000 meter rated autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) equipped with EdgeTech 2205 Side Scan Sonars. The ARA San Juan was imaged by the EdgeTech sonar operating at a frequency of 230kHz and a 400-meter range scale.EdgeTech&r

Marine Technology Magazine Cover Jun 2019 - Hydrographic Survey: Single & Multibeam Sonar

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