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56 “Maximum endurance is 90 minutes in optimal conditions [no current, warm water] and 60-70 in worse conditions,” Theo Cartereau told us. “Acoustic control is operated via a handheld remote; we’d offered a bracelet-like control device previously, but the remote gives better ergonomy for divers and dive instructors, as they can now have a hand free at all times.” Propulsion and balance are informed by readings from a three-axis IMU and powered by seven thrusters – four horizontal, three vertical. Power is supplied by two 6600 mAh, 95 Wh lithium-polymer batteries for a maximum endurance of 1 hour. In that time the iBubble can dive to a maximum depth of 60 m, with two 1000-lumen lights to provide illumination for the camera. The vehicle automatically resurfaces if the signal or power are lost. “Its maximum speed is 1.5 m/s, or around 3 knots,” Cartereau added. The vehicle can also be operated in ROV mode by connecting a 100 m tether provided with the control station. A diver can also activate a command on their remote control to signal the AUV to approach them, so that it can be gripped and moved manually as a handheld camera. Toshiba Memory America unveiled its BG4 series of single-package ball grid array (BGA) solid-state drives (SSDs). The form factor of BGA-package SSDs enables more flash memory (compared with other SSD types) to be added to smaller and thinner devices, and extends battery life thanks to their lower thermal resistance. They can also provide more interconnect points than dual in-line pin packages and quad flat packages, given that their entire bottom surface can be used for pins, instead of just the perimeter. The company said this means the BG4 SSDs are the densest client SSDs (by volume) on the market. The BG4s are 1.3 mm thick for capacities up to 512 Gbytes, and 1.5 mm for 1024 Gbyte drives. They also provide up to 2.25 Gbyte/s sequential read – 50% faster than the BG3 – and up to 1.7 Gbyte/s sequential write, which is 70% faster than the BG3. This new generation of drives is also designed with power efficiency improvements of up to 20% in read and 7% in write, with a low-power state in which power consumption can be as low as 5 mW. Velodyne debuted a range of new Lidar products designed to offer improved perception for vehicle autonomy and driver assistance systems. The Alpha Puck can generate point measurements at up to 300 m away (the longest range yet among the company’s products), across a 360° horizontal FOV and a 40° vertical FOV. Measurements from the 905 nm lasers are generated with a resolution of 0.2 x 0.1°. A new robotic manufacturing process was used at Velodyne’s factory, and new proprietary materials used in the Alpha Puck were developed in conjunction with the system, the company said. Velodyne also unveiled its new VelaDome sensor. Unlike its typical Puck sensors, which have a 360° horizontal FOV, the VelaDome takes measurements across a 180 x 180° FOV. The point-generation capabilities of Lidar systems are typically limited by how many pulses per second their laser diodes can emit. Also, the need to cover as broad a FOV as possible typically requires alterations to the paths of each pulse, which spread the boundaries of the point cloud but sacrifice its overall density. By reducing the horizontal FOV to 180°, the VelaDome can achieve a higher point cloud density than other Lidar systems, at ranges as close as 0.1 m from the dome- shaped sensor. That can enable closer measurements (and thus greater safety) when self-driving vehicles detect cyclists or pedestrians. February/March 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology The iBubble video and photography AUV from Notilo Plus Velodyne’s new VelaDome Lidar sensor