Uncrewed Systems Technology 046

48 A s reported before in this magazine, shallow waters prove something of a sticking point for the otherwise widening reach of uncrewed systems. Coastlines and lakes are typically under-surveyed compared with deeper seas and oceans, as they have trickier currents, greater collision risks, higher turbidity and less space for launching and recovering AUVs. Also, the chances of biofouling and impacts from sudden, harsh waves make it impractical to use fixed buoys and so on in these environments, while crewed vessels pose an unacceptable carbon emissions risk to them. A new type of autonomous vehicle is therefore needed. The market gap that these regions of water pose is steadily being addressed through the development of two new kinds of uncrewed vehicles. The first are amphibious ground vehicles such as the Copperstone Helix and Bayonet 350 (see UST 29, December 2019/January 2020 and UST 45, August/September 2022), the other is a miniaturised offshoot of the traditional autonomous UUV, increasingly referred to as a micro-AUV. This new class of vessel is being defined by a number of successful commercial and scientific missions, many of which have been achieved by the YUCO, the signature offering from maritime robotics company Seaber. It is rated to a depth of 300 m, has a maximum endurance of 10 hours, and although its physical parameters change according to the range of payloads it can integrate, it is about 100 cm long, 12 cm wide and weighs 8 kg, with typical operating speeds of between 2.5 and 6 knots. The formation of this team, based in Brittany, France, and its micro-AUV Missions in miniature October/November 2022 | Uncrewed Systems Technology This micro-AUV has some advantages over traditional versions, as Rory Jackson found when tracing its development