Cellula Robotics Ltd. has successfully completed demonstration missions using its Solus-LR hydrogen fuel cell powered Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV).
The missions, executed in Vancouver’s Indian Arm inlet in July 2022, demonstrated the autonomous launch of a micro-AUV from Solus-LR while submerged and underway.
Following the launch, the micro-AUV surfaced and transmitted a status message to Solus-LR’s command and control center via Iridium satellite. According to Cellula Robotics, the operation was the first of its kind and demonstrated near real-time, over-the-horizon communications from a submerged AUV.
The demonstration was observed by representatives from Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS), the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC), Defence Science & Technology Group (DSTG Australia) and the Minister of State for Trade, Vancouver-Fraserview, George Chow, as part of Cellula’s ongoing work with TAS’ SeaWolf program.
Built on a research and development project originally sponsored by DRDC under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science and Technology (S&T) Program that developed Solus-LR, the mission re-enforced the capabilities and potential of a long-range, hydrogen fuel cell powered AUV designed for submerged missions in excess of 2,000 km.
“We were extremely impressed to see these novel technologies, particularly the hydrogen fuel-cell succeed in sea trial conditions,” said CEO of TAS, Professor Jason Scholz. “This type of power provides an additional viable option to diesel, battery-only and nuclear propulsion. Cellula Robotics continue to impress on the SeaWolf program, along with the contributions of our many Australian partners in the consortium. We aim to continue to develop this capability option for defense consideration.”