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UK tests robot survey boat

12th August 2021 - 15:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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The RS Aqua Otter Pro robot boat. (Photo: MoD/ Crown Copyright.)

During trials, the Otter Pro robot boat surveyed a 7,000m2 area in just 40min.

The UK RN has begun trialling a small robot boat capable of surveying uncharted waters and gathering data.

The RN’s Project Hecla team tested the RS Aqua-made Otter Pro system at the Defence Diving School in Portsmouth.

The RN formed Hecla to optimise how it collects oceanographic and hydrographic information.

During trials, the Otter Pro collected sonar imagery of several wrecks and sensed swim lines and seabed erosion caused by divers.

RN trials lead CDR Graham Mimpriss said: ‘Although the Otter Pro is being operated to enable Project Hecla to refine future operating concepts of uncrewed surface vehicles in future military surveying application, it has begun to prove itself as being superior to existing portable systems.’

The next set of trials will see the Otter Pro put through its paces in a ‘more complex environment’ and refine its data processing capabilities.

Mimpriss added: ‘This first trial has begun to demonstrate positive benefits of uncrewed surface vehicles for surveying and also highlighted changes the Royal Navy would need to make to training, personnel employment and logistics for enable full exploitation of offboard technologies.’

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