Tesla Offshore selects Bluefin-21 AUV
Bluefin Robotics will supply a Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to Tesla Offshore under a new purchase agreement announced on 27 March. The AUV will form an important part of Tesla Offshore’s expansion into deepwater oil and gas field development.
According to Bluefin Robotics, Tesla Offshore will operate the AUV in a number of locations, including the Gulf of Mexico where US government regulatory agents are considering proposals that mandate archaeological and shallow hazard survey data be acquired by AUV technologies.
As well as deepwater oil and gas field development, the company is positioning itself to pursue governmental, environmental and academic applications support.
The Bluefin-21 AUV is a modular system capable of carrying multiple sensors in a single payload section. Its efficient power solution enables extended operations at depths up to 4,500 meters. The system’s design includes swappable payload sections and battery modules for fast surface turnaround, as well as portability and flexibility to operate from various ships of opportunity worldwide.
The AUV's sensor suite includes a broadband multibeam echosounder, a chirp sub-bottom profiler, and a high definition digital camera, as well as a fully-integrated synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) produced by Raytheon Applied Signal Technology.
Randall P Bergeron, president and CEO, Tesla Offshore, said: ‘In the highly competitive and evolving field of AUV development, Bluefin Robotics certainly belongs at the top of a very short list of suppliers that could meet our subsea data acquisition and sensor integration criteria. With such a strong background in innovative solutions in the AUV market, and the flexibility to meet our operational goals and timeframes, Bluefin Robotics was able to put together an ideal vehicle that will allow Tesla Offshore to undertake our clients' most challenging deepwater survey operations anywhere in the world.’
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