Minehunting AUVs for UK Royal Navy

The AUVs will be powered by Seebyte's Neptune fleet autonomy software, which uses adaptive goal-based planning to provide optimal mission execution By Mike Ball / 13 Apr 2022
Minehunting AUVs

Seebyte’s Neptune maritime autonomy software will be incorporated into a new fleet of AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles) being developed by ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK (AEUK) for the UK Royal Navy. 3 AUV systems, comprising nine vehicles in all, will be provided under a contract from DE&S’s Mine Hunting Capability (MHC) Team.

Neptune is an autonomy system for fleets of uncrewed maritime vehicles that uses adaptive goal-based planning and automatic matching of areas and objectives to available assets in order to provide optimal mission execution. The system’s unique decentralised autonomy architecture allows multiple tasks to be run in parallel, with automatic malfunction management and task handover in response to failure or changes in the environment.

The MHC AUV System combines the ATLAS ELEKTRONIK medium-sized SeaCat AUV, fitted with the latest AEUK high resolution Vision Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) and the Seebyte Neptune and military software for advanced planning and analysis. AEUK have worked with Lidan Marine to develop a remote AUV handling system for the MHC AUV project, providing a Launch and Recovery System (LARS) suitable for operation from platforms such as the RN’s ARCIMS USVs (unmanned surface vessels) and SEA Class workboats.

This delivery to the MHC team will see AEUK providing another MCM toolbox element, alongside the in-service ARCIMS USVs, with their advanced minesweeping payloads and towed minehunting sonars, enabled by AEUK’s Unmanned Vehicle Autonomy software and sensors.

Jeremy Quin, UK Minister for Defence Procurement, commented: “This innovative technology is a huge leap forward for the Royal Navy and will be crucial to protecting the security and safety of our personnel. Supporting wider British industry, it also reinforces our focus on ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of tackling defence threats.”

Wesley Galliver, Head of Surface Ship Systems at AEUK, said: “We are very proud that the advanced mine countermeasures technology that AEUK has invested in over the years is now being provided to the RN for their flagship Mine Counter Measures (MCM) operational evaluation programme. MCM is at the heart of our business and AEUK are delighted to enhance the RN’s autonomous systems capability.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact