Unmanned Systems News

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

Figure 6: A DOLPHIN Sonar trial result, SAS at three times Nyquist speed. Image: QinetiQ North America

DOLPHIN: Enabling Technology for Acoustic Systems

telemetry systems.  In practice this will yield benefits to many markets and applications. Military operations will benefit from networking, clandestine communications, improved throughput, and increased tolerance for difficult acoustic conditions. One could envision DOLPHIN enabled networks of unmanned systems more quickly and reliably finding and neutralizing mines in deep waters and in the surf zone.  Commercially the oil and gas, and to a lesser extent offshore renewables, are looking to seafloor resident systems for both installation and inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR).  These

A Timelapse of EagleRay Transitioning from Sea to Sky (Credit NCSU)

Drones for Coastal Enviro Management

it difficult to plan research.• Testing and evaluation of UAS platforms and sensors by an independent entity such as ACT would be useful to researchers, managers, and technicians.Technology HighlightsThere were several innovative technologies presented at the workshop. A key concern for all unmanned systems is payloads. During this workshop researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) discussed the use of a Flightwave Edge, a hybrid tricopter fixed-wing aircraft. It can take off and land using Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) technology. It can also seamlessly transition

A Hugin AUV being launched (Courtesy Kongsberg)

Unmanned Vehicles: 25 Years of Milestones

vessels for the commercial survey market. Developing this new autonomous vessel solution will help the survey industry reduce offshore staff exposure and increase operational efficiency by making operations safer and more cost effective.L3 ASV C-Worker 5 Autonomous Vessel (Courtesy: L3 ASV)Unmanned systems moving oceans into the futureSince the mid-1990s the internet, software, and sophisticated electronics have transformed life ashore. At sea there have been equally transformative developments.  Early AUVs and ASVs demonstrated the potential of unmanned systems to transform ocean operations

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

well over 500,000 naval mines in worldwide military inventories.For over a century, clearing mines has been a brutal, crude and close-up business. For over twenty years, leading navies have been increasingly investing in technologies to “keep the sailor out of the minefield” by deploying unmanned systems, both underwater and on the surface.Countering the Underwater ThreatKraken’s KATFISH is an actively controlled, intelligent towfish platform used to generate real-time ultra-high definition seabed imagery and maps for a variety of military and commercial applications. Kraken’s products

SeaScout Expeditionary Seabed Mapping and Intelligence System deployed during ANTX2018 (Photo: Kraken Robotics Inc.)

Kraken, ThayerMahan Demonstrate SeaScout for US Navy

event that was created by the U.S. Navy to see the future of naval technology in action today. Warfare centers, other Navy commands, universities and industry leaders are invited to showcase their technologies and capabilities during this event. The event provides an opportunity to test new unmanned systems and related technologies, while gaining access to U.S. Navy test ranges, facilities and people.There is a growing international trend of defense dollars being spent on drone development. In its fiscal year 2019 budget, the U.S. Department of Defense requested US$9.6 billion for unmanned technology

L3 ASV’s C-Worker 7 is a multi-role work class autonomous vessel suitable for offshore and coastal tasks. (Photo: Business Wire)

L3 Technologies Acquires ASV Global

,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “The addition of L3 ASV enables us to deliver both unmanned surface and undersea vehicle technologies to an expanded international customer base and take a prime contractor position on major unmanned systems.”Based in Louisiana and the U.K., L3 ASV delivers surface vessels in a range of sizes, currently from 10 to 42 feet, with proprietary software and control systems and proven unmanned system autonomy architectures. The company’s autonomy systems are consistent with the International

Kraken Awarded $1 Million Defense Contract

array technology improvements, hardware and software upgrades of submarine, surface and airborne ASW systems.Karl Kenny, Kraken’s President and CEO, said, “There is a significant and growing demand for strengthening ASW capabilities operated on surface warships, aircraft, submarines and unmanned systems. Such technologies are used to track, locate and neutralize hostile submarine threats. Naval forces around the world are focusing on development of ASW technology because of the regional proliferation of submarines. In fact, the market analyst firm Forecast International estimates the market

Saab Seaeye’s Sea Wasp MCM ROV (Photo: Saab Seaeye)

Subsea Defense: Extending Unmanned Capabilities

(AUVs) could be used for purposes we don’t’ want,” says Shepherd. “If I was a terrorist, I would have a fantastic time at the moment, using underwater autonomy, causing disruption.”For these reasons, navies have been ramping up their activity in developing MAS and unmanned systems. “We are doing a lot of work in autonomy and automation,” Rear Admiral Moises DelToro III, Deputy Commander for Undersea Warfare, Naval Sea Systems Command; Commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Centet, United States Navy, told UDT. “Over the past 2-3 years there’s been a

Kraken Bags AquaPix Sonar Contract

, manned and unmanned surface vessels and towed platforms. The modular system uses the latest electronics, transducer arrays and real-time signal processing software optimized for the demanding size, weight, power and cost constraints of unmanned maritime vehicles.To fully realize the potential of unmanned systems, underwater vehicles must carry sensors to observe the underwater environment, and sensor data must be processed in real-time for systems to intelligently interpret the environment and adapt their behavior accordingly. Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar, such as Kraken’s AquaPix

Harbin Engineering University from China takes first place in the 2018 International RoboSub Competition. RoboSub is a robotics program where students design and build autonomous underwater vehicles to compete in a series of visual-and acoustic-based tasks. (Photo by Julianna Smith, RoboNation)

Students Face Off in Underwater Competition

event, providing participants the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world problems—as well as hone their networking, presentation and communication skills as they prepare to enter the workforce,” said Deitz.According to the recently released DON Strategic Roadmap for Unmanned Systems (short version), which lays out a plan to seamlessly integrate more unmanned systems into the naval services and across all domains, having a well-rounded generation of engineers and scientists is essential to the Navy’s future force.Harbin Engineering University (China) took this year&rsquo

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

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