Uncrewed Systems Technology 046

50 Digest | Seaber YUCO And if the market declined it, then we’d discard our work and start again from a blank sheet. One thing we weren’t going to do was pour billions of investor capital into something huge and heavy that could supposedly do everything for everyone but was impossible to deploy.” To serve its target market, Seaber decided early in development on a maximum depth rating of 300 m, as well as sufficient thrust, speed and manoeuvrability (relative to the concept AUV’s size) to counter the strong currents it would face in shallow waters. “We were – and are – targeting organisations who own only the sensors for marine surveys, and were not using AUVs for the reasons I’ve described. They were too costly, too complex and required too much dedicated training, bureaucracy and infrastructure,” Simon explains. “We offer the YUCO as a means of enhancing the range, duration and autonomy with which they can deploy their sensors, and indeed we’ve found all our customers are those who are using AUVs for the first time.” Ease of use was therefore another critical key aspect of Seaber’s engineering strategy: end-users can be fully trained in using a YUCO over a 4 hour videoconferencing session. This is illustrated not only in the low part count involved in the maintenance and disassembly of the YUCO but also in its ancillary systems such as the company’s SeaPlan GCS software and SeaComm recovery tool. “We especially wanted one approximate vehicle design and profile, no matter what the payload. We therefore don’t put the payload in the dry section but in the wet section, and it’s always based on really small sensors, as that’s the way the market is going,” Simon comments. “Five years ago, it would have been really complex to launch this product, because the sensors and electronics would have been too big and too power- hungry, and would have had to be kept dry at all costs.” In the 6 months following the first deployments, Seaber conducted October/November 2022 | Uncrewed Systems Technology The YUCO’s low cost has been key to making ocean data accessible to researchers and other groups around the world A core aim of the YUCO’s development was to ensure it could operate and be launched or recovered in shallow waters, where many conventional AUVs struggle owing to their size and the strong currents