Unmanned Systems Technology 027 l Hummingbird XRP l Gimbals l UAVs insight l AUVSI report part 2 l O’Neill Power Systems NorEaster l Kratos Defense ATMA l Performance Monitoring l Kongsberg Maritime Sounder

90 T he marine autonomy capabilities of Kongsberg Maritime are well-founded. Long-running projects such as the Hugin AUV, and newer ones such as the Sea-Kit and Yara Birkeland, have demonstrated the company’s ability to develop hardware and software for a range of sea systems. In examining the large (and fast- growing) market for survey-grade USVs, many members of the Norwegian company noticed that there was widespread conversion of work boats into unmanned craft. That was depriving the market of surface vehicles that had been designed from the outset around optimised hydro-acoustic performance. Development of the Sounder, Kongsberg Maritime’s first all-new USV platform, began in earnest around early 2018. In the pursuit for a long-endurance hydrographic survey vessel, it worked with the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, or FFI, its long-standing partner on various technologies including the K-Mate maritime autonomous control system, and boat manufacturer Viking Norsafe, which was responsible for designing and building the hull. The hull Input and expertise from Viking Norsafe was critical to achieving the seakeeping performance the Sounder would need. “If we have both water and air going underneath the hull around the acoustic transducers, that introduces an element of noise into any data we’re trying to gather, potentially creating gaps or losses of resolution in the sonar imagery,” explains Richard Mills, director of marine robotics at Kongsberg Maritime. “So we needed a hull shape that would minimise that aeration of the sonars; it’s sometimes difficult to get rid of it altogether.” Rory Jackson explains how this all-new USV was developed to provide long-endurance hydrographic surveys Acoustic composition August/September 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology