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AUVs, ROVs, UUVs
many vehicles and students on their way to operational success. When asked MTR on recent activities in the
AUV community, he readily rattled off a dizzying list of institutions, companies and different factions of the U.S.
Navy. In all, he said, there are more than 100 different
AUVs currently being developed within various agencies and research institutions, with just a handful available commercially. He also said that there are significant R&D and operational AUV efforts underway in the U.K.,
France, China and Russia, to name a few in the interna- tional engineering community.
The list of companies that offer AUVs include, but is not limited to: Hydroid, Bluefin Robotics, Prism, Ocean
Server, International Submarine Engineering, Lockheed
Martin, BAE Systems, Falmouth Scientific, Kongsberg
Marine and Hafmynd.
AUVs in the Real World
The fact that the U.S. Navy and NOAA are evaluating and seriously considering fleets of AUVs, and the devel- opment of increasing AUV use in the offshore market are sure signs that the technology is finally maturing after 20 years of development, reaching the point where the vehi- cles offer a desirable dependability and cost effectiveness.
C&C Technologies, a large survey company, is using the
Kongsberg Hugin AUV to conduct deep water high reso- lution geophysical surveys for offshore oil and gas indus- try all over the world. C&C owns four Hugin AUVs (Sea
Survey 1,2,3,4) that are equipped Edgetech chirp side scan sonars and sub bottom transducers. Sea Survey 3 and 4 also have the Edgetech dynamically focused sonar on board to improve survey resolution. Jay Northcutt,
Director of Geophysical Operations for C&C, said that running the Sea Survey AUVs is no simple task, requir- ing trained operators and software engineers to keep track of the system and the resulting data. The advantage of using the deep water system is that it omits the need for a second vessel, there is no huge winch and cable handling system that is used when towing a vehicle and the AUV can change direction within minutes as opposed to the www.seadiscovery.com Marine Technology Reporter 25 nstream
C&C Technologies' HUGIN Sea Survey AUV being deployed off ship.
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