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.”

“The AUV demonstrated exceptionally stable flight and accurate navigation during the trial and completed all tests successfully.”

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.

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By GlobalData

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.