AUVs and Underwater Acoustics for Anti Submarine Warfare and Mine Counter-Measures (MCM)

AUVs and Underwater Acoustics for Anti Submarine Warfare and Mine Counter-Measures (MCM)
ZA de Kerloïc, Rue Jean-Noël Jégo, 56850 Caudan France Regional offices

RTsys is a leading developer of UUVs (unmanned underwater vehicles), AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles) and underwater acoustic systems for defense, commercial and civil applications.

With more than 30 years of marine engineering expertise and experience, we are industry leaders in innovative acoustic monitoring, as well as a recognised provider of state-of-the-art anti-submarine warfare technologies.


Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for subsea missions


The COMET 300 is a sophisticated and versatile AUV designed to suit the requirements of defense, commercial and research applications. Designed to be launched and recovered from a small boat, the one-man-portable underwater drone can act as a standalone unit, as part of a network with buoys and surface vessels, or as part of a swarm of up to ten COMET 300 AUVs.

The powerful subsea drone can operate at depths of up to 300m, and is able to handle rough weather and strong currents thanks to a top speed of greater than 10 knots. It features an extended continuous mission endurance of up to 20 hours depending on payload and speed.

The COMET 300 AUV features high-accuracy navigation and positioning thanks to built-in RTK GPS, INS (inertial navigation systems) and a high-quality DVL (Doppler Velocity Log). The use of the optional COMET LBL protocol provides precise relative positioning for networked AUVs due to redundant data and recalibration.

A wide variety of sensors and payloads for different mission applications can be fielded on the COMET 300 AUV, including side scan sonars, sub-bottom profilers, magnetometers, cameras and water monitoring instruments.

AUV COMET 300 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

COMET 300 AUV Applications:

  • Counter-mine warfare and unexploded ordnance (UXO) detection
  • Extensive underwater acoustic mapping and surveying
  • Harbour and coastline protection and surveillance
  • Surveying and environmental assessment for wind farms and offshore marine construction
  • Oil and gas prospecting.

COMET 300 AUV Specifications:

Depth Rating: Up to 300m
Top Speed: > 10 knots
Endurance: Up to 20 hours (12 hours at 4 knots)
Operating Temperature Range: 0°C – +50°C
Length: 1.77m – 250m (depending on configuration)
Diameter/Height: 150mm/332mm
Weight: 27 – 40 kg (depending on configuration)
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for subsea missions
COMET Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Learn more: COMET 300 AUV

NemoSens Micro-AUV

Compact autonomous underwater vehicle for scientific, industrial and defense applications

NemoSens Micro-AUV

The NemoSens is a versatile one-man portable micro-AUV measuring less than 90cm. Easily deployable and recoverable, it can be operated from a boat or from the shore, and provides a mission endurance of over 10 hours.

Based around an open Linux architecture with ROS (Robot Operating System) support, the system allows users to develop and deploy their own navigation algorithms. With a 2kg payload capacity, NemoSens can be easily equipped with a wide range of sensors and systems, including side scan sonars, cameras, DVLs, and chemical sensors, and is also compatible with all RTsys products. All sensor data is recorded to a single easily-accessed onboard storage location.

The AUV can be easily tracked underwater using acoustic communications, and on the surface via RTsys’ GeoSys remote control functionality. GeoSys also allows operators to send basic commands to the AUV such as mission abort. NemoSens’ functionality can be extended by deploying the vehicle in swarms of up to seven.

NemoSens is ideal for a wide range of scientific, industrial and defense applications, including:

  • Seabed Acoustic Imaging
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Sparse-LBL Communications

NemoSens Micro-AUV specifications:

Dimensions (length x diameter) 895 x 124 mm
Weight < 9kg
Max Operational Depth 300 m
Endurance >10 hrs
Speed 2 – 8 knots
Operating Conditions -5 to +40 °C, up to Sea State 4

Learn more: NemoSens Micro-AUV

SEMA Underwater ASW Training Target

UUV for anti-submarine warfare training

SEMA ASW Target DroneThe SEMA is a recoverable underwater target UUV designed especially for ASW (anti-submarine warfare) training. Fast and lightweight, the target can be easily launched from a boat or RHIB. The system can be programmed for autonomous operation, following either selected waypoints (based on latitude, longitude, speed or depth) or navigating configurable segments (based on heading, speed, depth or timeout). It can also be remotely controlled via radio or acoustic signal.

Portable underwater target UUVThe portable target drone is easy to deploy and recover, with the ability to set automatic start at a particular depth as well as defined GPS co-ordinates for recovery. An auto-recovery mode can be engaged to ensure safe return of your vital training assets even in the event of system failure.

Once recovered, encrypted data can be downloaded and the SEMA can be recharged, reprogrammed and be ready for redeployment, all in just one hour.

The SEMA underwater target drone features different passive, active and combined acoustic modes and capabilities for a wide variety of ASW training requirements, including:

  • Acoustic echo-repeater (1 to 33 kHz): 5 bands for active sonar frequency, 2 bands for head acoustic torpedo
  • Multi-echo artificial intelligence
  • 6 narrowbands: 200 Hz to 38 kHz
  • 2 broadbands: 450 Hz to 8 kHz and 10 to 23 kHz
  • Acoustic recorder with data encryption.

With the aid of a special antenna, the SEMA UUV can also be operated in Magnetic Anomaly Detection mode at near-surface depths for the training of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) operators. The unmanned sea target is triggered remotely by acoustic commands, using the Directional Command-Activated Sonobuoy System (DICASS).

SEMA UUV Underwater Drone
UUV for anti-submarine warfare training

SEMA Target UUV Specifications:

Depth Rating: Up to 300m
Speed: 4 – 15 knots
Endurance: 10 hours at 4 knots
1 hour 30 min at 15 knots
Length: 2130 mm
Diameter/Height: 150mm/285mm
Weight: 33 kg (in air)

VERTHY – Vertical Line Array Antenna

Underwater Acoustic Signature Measurement System

VERTHY - Vertical Line Array

VERTHY is a rapidly-deployable, easy-to use system for measuring and characterizing acoustic signatures from manned and underwater unmanned vessels and submarines. With a rugged construction designed to withstand demanding marine environments, it is light enough to be handled by just one operator.

The VERTHY system consists of three main components:

Vertical line array antenna: VERTHY’s lightweight rugged 15-hydrophone antenna, with a length of 17 metres, provides a large gain of up to 6 dB in different listening directions. The system features excellent acoustic acquisition even in high-noise environments.

The array’s construction, consisting of internal stainless steel cable and Dyneema braided textile outer cable, provides an ideal combination of high strength and acoustic noise protection.

Data recorder and processor: moored to a surface buoy and with integrated GPS and secure radio, the embedded EA-SDA416 recorder and processor is built around FPGA and ARM technology with Linux for real-time data processing.

With 16 channels electronically synchronized and calibrated at +/-0.1dB, the embedded recorder can acquire frequencies from 1Hz to 10KHz with fully configurable sampling frequency of up to 120KHz. 32-bit recording provides excellent dynamic (>100dB) and all sound data is encrypted.

The embedded system is optimised for low-power operation, with a battery life of up to 15 hours.

Rugged laptop or tablet: real-time trajectography control and data display can be accessed via an intuitive web-based interface.

VERTHY also features optional submarine signature measurement and trajectory measurement via a 160 dB transducer that allows submarine distance measurement up to 2.5 km away. This system can be immersed at depths of 50 or 100 meters.

VERTHY – Vertical Line Array Specifications:

Frequency range: 1 Hz – 10 kHz
Sound recording resolution: 32 bits
Recorder dimensions (length/diameter): 1050mm/120mm
Array dimensions (length/diameter): 17m/31mm
Weight: 12kg

SIERA Sonar System

Portable Underwater Acoustic Calibration System

SIERA Sonar System

SIERA is a portable underwater system for easy characterisation and calibration of underwater acoustic systems, such as hull-mounted sonars, dipping sonars and variable depth sonars, on UUVs, AUVs and other underwater platforms.

The rapidly deployed and recovered system can be towed from a USV or other vessel, and consists of five main components:

Lightweight towed body: incorporating a B&K 8106 hydrophone and a Neptune Sonar D/11/BB transducer in a watertight enclosure, with integrated pressure sensor and protecting and filtering electronics

Two 250 m towed electrical cables: equipped with two waterproof connecting sockets

Two aluminium winches: equipped with retractable handle, locking system and deck mounting brackets

Acquisition and CAG generation unit: 1U acquisition unit and two class D amplifiers housed in a 19-inch 6U enclosure with removable front panels, wheels and retractable handle

Configuration and processing system: based around a laptop with connecting interface, special software and removable data storage unit, and providing real-time or delayed signal processing.

SIERA Sonar System Specifications:

Reception sensibility: Sea state 0 up to 180 dB/μPa
Emission levels: 185 dB from 3 – 20 kHz
150 – 185 dB from 500 Hz – 3 kHz
130 dB from 20 kHz  -30 kHz
Frequency band (E/R): 500Hz – 20 kHz
Length: 1312mm
Diameter: 19kg
Weight: 205mm
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