ECA has been selected to participate in the development of an autonomous underwater robot for maritime security. The project called ASEMAR (Autonomous and intelligent drone for Maritime safety and security), labelled by the Brittany Maritime Cluster, represents a total of value of 15 Million Euros.
The partners for this project under the leadership of Thales are: ENSIETA (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Ingénieurs des Etudes et Techniques d'Armement - national graduate engineering institute), Naval Academy, ISEN (Engineering School) and UBO and ECA, who's participation totals 5 Million Euros.
ASEMAR is financed to 30% by the FUI (Fonds Unique Interministériel - Interministerial Fund), the local communities and the region of Brittany.
Thalès and ECA have already developed two robots for the destruction of underwater mines together for the DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement / French MoD) in the past.
This third robot, weighing about 1 ton, is dedicated to underwater inspection and control for missions of 24 hours. Enhanced autonomy and more onboard intelligence will be used for the detection of suspect and dangerous underwater objects such as hazardous or polluting cargo loads, released narcotics, ship wrecks etc.
The first trials of the system will take place in 2009.