Bluefin Robotics, an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) manufacturer is pleased to announce the Bluefin-9 AUV has successfully completed a series of consecutive demonstrations. The air-shippable, two-man portable AUV system journeyed through the US, Australia, France and Japan before diving into United Kingdom waters this August.
The most recent demonstration conducted at the facilities of Bluefin's representative in Portland UK, GMSL, represents the completion of a nearly two-year world tour during which no major repair was required. Despite rough handling through repeated shipment, unpredictable weather conditions, and widely varying environments the Bluefin-9 system consistently performed right out of the shipping container.
"Our experience with the Bluefin-9 over multiple missions yielded exceptional data and imagery coupled with precision navigation," said Tony Rodgers, President of Orca Maritime, Inc. "The technical and operational responsiveness of the Bluefin team was outstanding."
During the demonstrations, participants were impressed with the vehicle's reliability, ease-of-use, rapid turnaround time between missions, field-swappable rechargeable batteries, and superb imagery quality. The Bluefin-9 performed particularly well in ports and harbors where surfacing and magnetic interference are typical AUV concerns; the system's navigation accuracy and unique employment enabled this achievement. The AUV was often mobilized and deployed in less than one hour typically as a result of the reliability of the system and the minimal equipment required for operation. No beacons or buoys are needed for navigation, which further reduces time and cost.
The Bluefin-9 logged hundreds of kilometers of mission distance during the course of the demonstrations. Equipped with a side-scan sonar, CT probe, depth sensor, turbidity sensor and camera, the system demonstrated amazing versatility in surveying siltation in rivers in Japan, pipelines and a wind farm site in the English Channel, the ports of Brest, France and Sydney, Australia, harbor floors and bridge pilings in San Diego, and an LNG terminal in Louisiana. All of this was accomplished with only minor field repairs and adjustments made possible by the systems modular architecture. This design approach also allows for maintainability in the field, maximizing run time, making the platform ideal for global operations.
The vehicle has additional international demonstrations and operations planned in the upcoming months.
The Bluefin-9 AUV was originally developed for the U.S. Navy and is now available to customers worldwide.