Kongsberg Maritime has announced the next generation of its advanced HUGIN Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). Named HUGIN Endurance, the new AUV boosts operational duration to approximately 15 days, enabling extended survey and inspection missions far from shore.
This longevity allows HUGIN Endurance to undertake extensive missions without the support of a mother ship. Shore-to-shore operations offer the opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint for commercial activities and yet retain unrivalled data resolution and accuracy. With this in mind, Kongsberg has added its Maritime Broadband Radio (MBR) communications system to HUGIN Endurance’s payload, allowing it to surface and share large quantities of data swiftly with any suitably equipped installation, such as another vessel, shore station or a wind turbine fitted with an MBR antenna.
For defence applications, HUGIN Endurance makes persistence a reality. Whether for a long-range military survey, wide-area mine detection, classification and identification, or even patrolling a choke point listening for submarines, this new extended range capability offers new solutions to existing and future challenges.
Advanced Hydroacoustic Sensors
HUGIN AUVs already set the standard for autonomous underwater operations thanks to their rugged reliability and accurate sensor payloads. The HUGIN Endurance can be equipped with a wide array of sensors, including the high-resolution Konsgberg HiSAS synthetic aperture sonar, a wide swath multibeam echo sounder, sub-bottom profiler and magnetometer, and other sensors to detect parameters such as methane, current and turbidity.
This portfolio of hydroacoustic sensors, communications and other technologies ensures that HUGIN Endurance is well equipped for advanced situational awareness scanning and mapping/inspection activities for far-field applications such as offshore wind farms. It also delivers significant sustainability benefits, not only when contrasted with conducting operations from surface vessels but also compared with other AUV operations, as the reduction in the need for surface support further diminishes the environmental footprint.
“We are proud to launch HUGIN Endurance, which represents a step change in AUV operations,” says Richard Mills, vice president of marine robotics sales, Kongsberg Maritime. “Teaming long endurance with large area coverage capabilities allows a single AUV to map areas up to 1,100 square kilometres in a single mission, a target impossible until now. With its unprecedented long-range capability and advanced communications, HUGIN Endurance sets a new standard for autonomous subsea mapping and inspection, yielding unmatched operational flexibility, efficiency and sustainability.”