Thales has signed an agreement with the General Directorate for Enterprises (DGE) in France for the development of a fully autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) dedicated to maritime surveillance and security.
The Asemar project involves seven partners: three industrial companies (Thales, ECA and IXSEA) and the research laboratories of four educational institutions (Ensieta, Ecole Navale, ISEN and UBO). Thales is responsible for overall project coordination and system deployment. The company will also supply a next-generation high-resolution side-scan sonar with synthetic-aperture array, which will give the AUV unparalleled measurement and imaging performance.
The system will be designed for surveillance of maritime areas, investigation and searches for submerged objects with certain characteristics. Its innovative and ambitious performance specifications include high levels of energy and decision-making autonomy, generation of high-resolution underwater imagery from depth and compatibility with standard off-the-shelf equipment. The system will also have the capability to track changes in the undersea environment between subsequent missions and compare the objects it detects with those stored in its database.
"This project further reinforces the value-added industrial activities of the Brittany Maritime Cluster and raises its status at the highest international level," commented Jean-Loup Monier, Director of the Thales Underwater Systems facility in Brest.