Many maritime actors require information about conditions below the ocean’s surface or on the ocean floor – whether it is deep-sea mapping of offshore incidents, marine research, searches for shipwrecks or dumped waste, pipeline inspections or military applications such as searches for naval mines.
It is for these purposes FFI and Kongsberg Maritime AS developed HUGIN – an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that can adapt its operational pattern to fulfil the objectives of missions in the best possible manner. It does this by interpreting data from various sensors and using this knowledge to analyse the surrounding situation, planning and carrying out actions.
An AUV must be able to deliver good, reliable data to users, and the newest generation HUGIN AUV uses, among other things, sophisticated positioning technology to enhance data quality.
FFI also conducts research on several fields of technology relating to marine robots and the data they generate. Cameras are, among other things, an important sensor for AUVs, although optical imaging has a short range under water. FFI has in collaboration with Norsk Elektro-Optikk and Kongsberg Maritime developed its own underwater camera solutions. Similarly, FFI and Kongsberg Maritime AS have collaborated on synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) – a technology for high-resolution imaging of the ocean floor.
Norwegian AUV technology is currently world leading. The Navy has, through what is known as the Triaxial collaboration (FFI, the industry and the Armed Forces) been vital for this development.