A fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) recently launched during a survey mission in the North Atlantic have completed the deepest known commercial dive performed by multiple AUVs simultaneously.
The mission, carried out by seafloor monitoring, mapping and exploration firm Ocean Infinity, saw six Kongsberg HUGIN AUVs descend to ocean depths greater than 5,200 meters, reportedly a world’s first for this type of vehicle.
The 6,000m rated vehicles were launched on October 18, each with an independent mission that surpassed water depths of 5,200 meters, collecting MBES data for an undisclosed client.
Figure 1 – created within the custom mission planning software InfinityView, developed by 4D Nav – shows each AUV’s mission as observed by operators onboard the 115-meter multiple purposes offshore vessel Seabed Constructor.
Recovery of the AUVs began on the evening of October 19.
Having completed sea trials in late July, Ocean Infinity said it has since used the multiple AUV fleet to perform surveys at five different locations.
Ocean Infinity said it plans to descend its AUV fleet to 6,000-meter water depth by mid-2018.
Side Scan Sonar - EdgeTech 2205
Multi-Beam Echosounder - Kongsberg Maritime EM 2040
Sub-Bottom Profiler - EdgeTech 2-16 kHz
HD Camera - CathX Ocean Still Colour Camera
Conductivity/Temperature/Depth Sensor - SAIV
Self-Compensating Magnetometer - Ocean Floor Geophysics
Turbidity Sensor - FLNU (RT)D
Methane and Cathx Laser Sensor
Minimum and Maximum Speed
2 and 6 kn
ca 5 m - 6,000 m
60 hr at 3.6 kn with