Following the announcement of the Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, GEBCO proposed a solution to win the competition supported by the Nippon Foundation. The concept was built around data acquisition using a combined system of one surface vessel accompanied by an underwater autonomous vehicle, the KONGSBERG HUGIN AUV System. KONGSBERG supplied support to the GEBCO-NF Alumni Team by providing the K-MATE autonomous control system for their unmanned surface vehicle, hydroacoustic sensors EM304 and HiPAP 502. The HUGIN AUV System was equipped with the KONGSBERG HISAS 1032 configured for extra wide area coverage, combined with an EM2040 MBES as a gap filler. In November 2018, the team fulfilled the requirements for the competition during a 36-hour mission, where 24 hours was mapping only.
Since then, 2 major trends have come to the fore: sustainability and digitization. These are driving the adoption of reduced-crewed and uncrewed platforms, the implementation of remote and autonomous operations and the need to access data through cloud services. This paper will highlight some of the developments we have made since the X-Prize, including AUVs, USVs and our cloud platform Blue Insight. These are designed to come together to achieve safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly survey operations.
Richard Mills is the Vice President for Marine Robotics Sales with Kongsberg Maritime. He joined Kongsberg in 2012 from ISE in Canada, and has 15 years’ experience with marine robotic systems. He is responsible for the HUGIN family of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and the Sounder Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV). His team is located around the world and covers all market segments including commercial survey, defence and research.