Argeo, a prominent player in the marine minerals, oil and gas and renewables sectors, is making significant strides in enhancing its operational capacity. This progress comes as the company confirms its Letter of Intent for the acquisition of two Hugin Superior AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles) and one Hugin 6000 AUV. This substantial expansion solidifies Argeo’s position as a leader in the industry. Argeo CEO, Trond Crantz, proudly declares that this investment will establish them as the world’s premier AUV fleet operator.
The first Hugin Superior is scheduled for delivery in early Q4 2023, followed by the second Hugin Superior in Q1 2024. The full scope delivery will be completed with the Hugin 6000 in Q1 2025. By 2025, Argeo’s AUV fleet will consist of a total of seven units, significantly boosting the company’s operational capacity and enabling superior productivity. This strategic move positions Argeo uniquely within the marine minerals, oil and gas and renewables segments, greatly increasing efficiency and productivity.
Extended coverage and long-range sensors
“The introduction of these highly advanced AUVs from Kongsberg, integrated with Argeo’s advanced sensor systems, is a strategic move that propels us ahead of the competition,” noted Trond Crantz. “With this purchase, Argeo will be the leading commercial player with the Hugin Superior in its fleet, significantly enhancing our operational capacity and reaffirming our industry leadership.”
The purchase is fully financed through a lease agreement with an international financing partner and has a lease term of four years. The total financing deal amounts to US$25 million, pending Argeo Board approval and final signing.
With its extended coverage and long-range sensors, the Hugin Superior delivers top-tier capabilities and productivity. The Kongsberg HISAS 1032 Dual Rx synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) doubles the area coverage from 500m of previous systems to a range of up to 1,000m for the Superior, providing high-resolution imagery and bathymetry data products. This allows one of Argeo’s new Superiors to acquire a total of 4.5km2 per hour of operation, equivalent to 108km2 per 24 hours. The Superior is equipped with a larger energy bank, providing 80 hours of continuous production (dive time) and a total of 360km2 high-resolution data acquisition per dive.
Both the Hugin Superior and the Hugin 6000 will be equipped with Argeo’s advanced sensor systems, including their patented electromagnetic systems, Argeo LISTEN and Argeo WHISPER.
“What truly sets the Hugin Superior apart is the exceptional sensor payload, meticulously designed to capture and interpret the ocean space like never before, combined with our own patented electromagnetic sensor systems,” emphasized Crantz.
Operating at a routine survey speed of 3.5 to 3.8 knots, it can detect objects the size of an average mobile telephone over an area of up to 1,000 metres (beam-to-beam). The imagery is processed in near real time on board the AUV and can be analysed by on-board advanced target recognition algorithms to detect and classify objects against a library of known targets.