Kongsberg Maritime has unveiled a brand-new unmanned surface vehicle (USV).
The Sounder USV System is designed and built to provide the highest possible standard of data acquisition, Kongsberg said.
With the introduction of the Sounder USV System, Kongsberg strengthens its presence in the market for unmanned vessels capable of carrying out a broad range of tasks.
The Sounder USV is a multipurpose platform designed to work across different market segments, including survey and fishery duties. It has been developed as a joint venture with Norsafe.
As a brand-new platform, the Sounder USV has been configured from the keel upwards to deliver optimal hydroacoustic data quality, efficiency and productivity. Operation of the USV is managed by Kongsberg’s K-MATE autonomous surface vehicle control system: capable of following survey patterns, autonomously following AUVs or simply tracking a mothership, the K-MATE system has been developed in partnership with FFI, the Defence Research Establishment in Norway.
The USV can be equipped with a wide selection of Simrad sensors including SX90 and ES80 fishery sonars as well as Kongsberg EM2040 multibeam echosounders for mapping and HiPAP positioning and communications systems for LBL (long baseline) and AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) support. Other sensors can also be integrated, while rapid payload change can be effected as both the moon pool in the base of the hull and the 19” rack hardware are removable.
The system is said to be compatible with launch and recovery systems and has an endurance of up to 20 days at 4 knots.
“More and more businesses, from many categories within the maritime industry, are starting to see the vast and comparatively untapped potential of USVs as a means of autonomously and cost-effectively harvesting enormous quantities of high-quality data,” said Stene Førsund, VP Subsea Sales, Kongsberg Maritime, “and with the highly adaptable Sounder USV System we’re poised to make the widespread availability of top-end data acquisition technology into an affordable and user-friendly reality.”