October 26, 2017

Six AUVs Dive Simultaneously at 5,000+ Meter Depths

  • An AUV launch (Photo: Ocean Infinity)
  • Figure 1: An image from InfinityView mission planning software (Image: Ocean Infinity)
  • An AUV launch (Photo: Ocean Infinity) An AUV launch (Photo: Ocean Infinity)
  • Figure 1: An image from InfinityView mission planning software (Image: Ocean Infinity) Figure 1: An image from InfinityView mission planning software (Image: Ocean Infinity)

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.
 
HUGIN AUV
Sensor Payload
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
 
Operating Depth
ca 5 m - 6,000 m
 
Length
6.2 m
 
Telemetry
Acoustic Positioning 
HiPAP 502
 
Endurance
60 hr at 3.6 kn with
SSS/SBP/MBES operating
North AtlanticlaserAtlantic