UTEC, an Acteon company, has announced a significant step forward for its growing fleet of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) thanks to the completion of a series of field trials in conjunction with Teledyne Gavia.
Partnering with Teledyne Gavia in San Diego, Calif., the company has completed operational testing of features designed to optimize AUVs for commercial survey applications. UTEC Survey has been using the Gavia AUVs for a variety of projects around the world since 2010 and, since becoming part of the Acteon group of companies, they have become the single largest commercial user of the system with seven AUVs in the fleet.
Operating at a constant altitude above the seabed but decoupled from the surface, low-logistics AUVs provide enhanced safety and a more stable, reliable, low-noise platform capable of gathering high quality data throughout the operating depth range. In addition, they offer a solution of higher productivity and the ability to survey in very shallow water of up to two meters.
The recent San Diego trials focused on deep operations at 1,000 meters with the AUV taking 25 minutes to travel from the surface to its survey depth. Features trialed included a new detachable float nosecone and Pneumatic Line Thrower (PLT) allowing the AUV to be safely retrieved at greater stand-off distances, a redesigned Teledyne Band-C acoustic modem transducer for improved seabed communication, a Side Scan Sonar system from Edgetech and L-3 Klein Associates with greater ranges and enhanced position capabilities including deep water real-time navigation solutions using Long Base Line (LBL) bottom nodes.
Commenting on the project, UTEC AUV & Geophysical Manager Paul Olsgaard said, “In maintaining our values of performance and excellence, and in line with our company-wide ethos of providing the best possible solutions for our clients by listening to and working with them, UTEC has invested in the development of the best low-logistics AUV technology.
“Working with Teledyne in this collaborative, customer-driven approach has enabled us to create a framework for correctly addressing evolving customer needs through new and improved AUV capabilities with safety consistently at the top of the agenda. We look forward to continuing our close working relationship to remain at the forefront of emerging technology and ensure that our customers continue to receive world-class service and solutions.”
Teledyne Marine System’s Vice President of Engineering Bob Melvin added, “The recent deep water tests in San Diego highlight Teledyne’s commitment to our commercial customers and provide vital feedback to our engineering and field support teams.”
“At Teledyne Marine Systems we value our customers input and participation in our development process and realize that only by closely aligning stakeholder objectives from manufacturers, service providers and operating companies can we be ultimately successful.”