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Unmanned launch and recovery of AUVs will secure more data

Written by:

Erik T. Sollesnes.

Published at: useaoceandata.com

Date: 13.01.22

Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) have been emerging as independent systems in the maritime sector. Now we will bridge the gap between these systems with unmanned launch and recovery to secure more data on each mission.

USEA Ocean Data´s proprietary uLARS - unmanned Launch And Recovery System - combined with the use of a USV as a support vessel, bridges the gap between the two systems and allows the AUV to be charged with data transfer or recovered to the deck of the USV.

The uLARS system consists of two parts, one part above water, on the USV deck, and one part under water. An AUV will dock to the underwater part of the uLARS™ while submerged, this allows the system to operate even in challenging weather.

The underwater part of the uLARS system has been under development by USEA and partners for the last year. In June 2021 an AUV was docked to the USEA uLARS under water at speed. It was tested and proved that the uLARS can catch and release the AUV multiple times, validating the USEA uLARS™concept. The AUV has been locked to, charged, and received mission updates through the uLARS system.

With this innovation our aim is to secure more data for our customers, and make survey operations completely unmanned, saving cost and removing the risk to humans.