Bluefin Robotics completes testing for HAUV-3
Bluefin Robotics has announced that government testing for its hovering underwater robot, HAUV-3, is now complete.
In a 2 August statement, the company said the system has completed government acceptance testing as the production system for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Hull Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Localization Systems (HULS).
The HAUV-3 is designed to autonomously perform ship hull inspection and obtain 100% sonar coverage - a task typically performed by divers to secure our ports and harbours.
Trainees operated the HAUV-3 in several in-water operational scenarios as part of the formal testing. According to the company, the system demonstrated increased operational speeds and nearly twice the endurance of its predecessor, the prototype HAUV-2.
In addition to its standard DIDSON imaging sonar, it is equipped with a camera, which provides additional visual information to divers tasked with re-locating contacts.
Environmental tests were also conducted, including the freezing, shaking, and baking one of the vehicles and its support equipment. Testing highlighted specific areas for ruggedization in order to optimize the system for harsh conditions, following which operators were able to power up all of the vehicle subsystems successfully.
Bluefin Robotics was awarded a contract modification in 2011 from the US Naval Surface Warfare Center, to move the system design into production. Since then, Bluefin has delivered one system, which constitutes two vehicles and support equipment and an additional two systems are currently in production.
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