Thalassa has announced that its subsidiary Autonomous Robotics (ARL) has completed sea trials of a prototype flying node autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) at a location off the coast of Plymouth harbour.
Conducted under the supervision of ARL engineering director Arran Holloway, the trials are claimed to be a major step forward in the proof of concept prototype development phase.
ARL said that the trial successfully confirmed the AUV autonomous navigation and seabed landing and take-off operation.
Holloway said: “The AUV demonstrated exceptionally stable flight and accurate navigation during the trial and completed all tests successfully. This is a major milestone in the development of the flying node concept and demonstrates the viability of some of the novel features of the system.”
ARL, a UK-based marine robotics company, is developing an autonomous underwater platform for ocean floor-based sensing known as the flying nodes system.
Defence and offshore energy companies are seeking cost-efficient solutions to replace manually controlled deployment of large sensor grids on the ocean floor.
ARL will provide a range of AUVs to offshore energy companies that will help them to autonomously deploy large sensor grids on the ocean floor.
Thalassa chairman Duncan Soukup said: “The autonomous sea trials were identified as a key milestone in the development of the flying node AUV. The success of these trials is a testament to the high level of professionalism and dedication of the ARL technical team, led by Arran Holloway.”
The nodes are capable of operating at a maximum depth of 3,000m with a 60-day recording duration.