Sonardyne’s acoustic communication and inertial navigation technologies have been selected to support an environmentally sustainable fleet of ocean-going, multi-role unmanned surface vessels (USVs), which is being launched by marine robotics company Ocean Infinity.
The Armada fleet currently consists of 17 bespoke-designed state-of-the-art uncrewed vessels designed to provide sustainable services for a wide variety of industries, from offshore energy to logistics and transport. The vessels, measuring 21 metres and 36 metres long, will be able to perform offshore data acquisition and intervention in both shallow and deep water operating regions, and will be able to remotely deploy autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
The first Armada vessels will be equipped with Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) system augmented by the company’s Marine Robotics Pack. This combination provides remote all-in-one tracking, communications and control capability for the underwater unmanned systems so that even more operations can be performed from shore.
The UUVs will also be fitted with Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav hybrid navigation instrument, to provide continuous, uninterrupted navigational aiding to underpin safe remote operations even in GNSS-denied environments such as fjords or near large structures. The system also provides profiled water column data, which is particularly important during the deployment and recovery of subsea robots. ROVs will also be equipped with Wideband Sub Mini 6+ tracking transponders and SPRINT-Navs.
Sonardyne’s technologies were chosen to support Armada because of their performance and flexibility across a wide range of water depths and environments, supporting operations across all sectors in even the remotest locations. The systems enable remote deployment, operations and recovery of underwater robotic systems from an uncrewed vessel from anywhere in the world, with the ability to accurately track and control multiple vehicles simultaneously.
Alan MacDonald, Sales Manager at Sonardyne, commented: “Over recent years, we’ve been focussed in Sonardyne on developing the flexible technologies that are required to support the revolution that is taking place in both surface and subsea marine robotics. Consequently, we’re very pleased to be part of Armada’s pioneering vision to deploy robotics at scale. These systems will help a wide variety of industries to reduce how many people they need to send to sea as well as dramatically reduce CO2 emissions, by deploying these smaller, more efficient vessels out.”
Dan Hook, Managing Director at Ocean Infinity, said: “Our expert team of robotics specialists selected Sonardyne as the clear choice for our robotics ships, to provide underwater navigation, tracking, control and communications and that additional layer of positioning security in areas where GNSS signals might be obscured. We look forward to a long-term working relationship with Sonardyne, as we grow our fleet.”