New Wave Media

June 3, 2021

Sonardyne, SeeByte Advance UMS Navigation and Autonomy

Project Wilton Iver AUVs. Photo from SeeByte

Project Wilton Iver AUVs. Photo from SeeByte

Sonardyne and SeeByte won a UK Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) funding to enhance and extend the future operational capability of autonomous and remotely operated systems in battlespace domains.

The collaboration is the phase two of the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)’s Autonomy in Challenging Environments competition and builds on the work both organizations undertook in Phase 1.

Sonardyne underwater positioning system will be teamed with SeeByte’s adaptive, communication-aware, robotic behavior developed for its autonomy system Neptune to allow the UMS to operate in highly complex, variable and communications-limited environments. Automatic target recognition imagery snippets will be transferred acoustically using SeeByte’s semantic compression software.

As part of the project, Sonardyne and SeeByte will be using surface and underwater assets from Project Wilton, a recently formed maritime autonomous systems (MAS) team based out of HM Naval Base Clyde. The collaboration will culminate in a series of in-water demonstrations at 

Sonardyne will install a Mini-Ranger 2 underwater positioning system onboard Project Wilton’s ARCIMS uncrewed surface vessel (USV) and AvTrak 6 Nano telemetry and tracking transceivers to the team’s Iver 3 autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), which will be managed by SeeByte’s autonomous networked acoustic communications system.

In addition, Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav instrument will also be integrated with the ARCIMS USV to provide an independent navigation reference in GNSS-denied environments.

This project is designed to enable optimal uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) distribution for improved subsea communications and navigation in a range of challenging environments.  

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