Hydroid, Inc., a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime and the leading manufacturer of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), has announced that the Horn Point Laboratory at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science has purchased one REMUS 600 system to use as a shared research platform for advancing oceanographic studies of coastal and near coastal environments.
“We wholeheartedly support the Horn Point Laboratory’s plan for using their new REMUS 600 AUV as a shared resource for marine oceanographic exploration,” said Christopher von Alt, president and co-founder of Hydroid. “Allowing researchers to ‘rent’ this state-of-the-art marine exploration tool— and especially for organizations conducting research with limited resources—is a powerful business model for advancing the study of coastal ocean environments.”
The Lab’s REMUS 600 AUV will be outfitted with several state-of-the-art technologies to enable a wide variety of research tasks. “The reason we picked the REMUS 600 specifically is the modular capabilities the vehicle offers,” said Nick Nidzieko, coastal physical oceanographer and assistant professor at the University’s Center for Environmental Science.
To that end, the Lab’s REMUS 600 will include forward and aft hovering modules, which allows the AUV to hold position in a single location above the sea floor, a second on-board payload computer which permits users to implement autonomy algorithms they develop and a nitrate sensor enabling real-time measurements of a critical element in oceanographic research. “It’s amazing—you can put this AUV in all these unique places and generate an incredibly rich data set that will open up new ways of thinking about oceanographic research,” Nidzieko said.
The Horn Point Laboratory plans to make the REMUS 600 system available for charter to other researchers in the marine sciences industry. While under charter, Horn Point’s AUV technician will serve as the AUV’s “skipper” said Nidzieko, enabling groups with limited experience to safely utilize the AUV to its maximum potential.