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SAS mosaic of the search survey with optical image of one of the targets detected at the ARISE trial in Italy, October 2012. Grafic: FFI.
Breakthrough for HUGIN sonar system
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With the next generation sonar system HUGIN can perform detection, classification and identification during a single mission, substantially saving time in mine countermeasure missions (MCM).

​The HUGIN AUV, developed by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and Kongsberg Maritime, with HISAS 1030 synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) has been in operational use by customers including the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) since 2008.

In October 2012, FFI – with support from the RNoN and Kongsberg Maritime – participated in an experiment led by the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) near Elba, Italy.

New hardware and software

A prototype of the next generation HISAS system, installed on FFI’s HUGIN HUS AUV, was operated from CMRE’s research vessel R/V Alliance during the Autonomous Reactive Intelligence Sea Experiment (ARISE) 2012.

In order to allow in-mission adaptation, the new HUGIN system includes hardware and software for real-time SAS processing, real-time automated target recognition (ATR) based on the SAS data, and in-mission re-planning for identification of automatically classified mine-like targets using an optical camera and/or other sensors.
The upgraded HISAS system also computes a performance measure in real time, which can be used to change track spacing automatically to ensure optimum coverage.
– FFI is very satisfied with the results from the trial. HUGINs new abilities will lead to substantial improvement in MCM operations, reported Roy E. Hansen, researcher and leader of the HUGIN  AUV project at FFI.

Successful demonstration

In a single mission, a pre-defined search pattern was executed by the HUGIN AUV in an area where various exercise targets had been placed. 
HUGIN performed well under 9 missions during the ARISE 2012 experiment, successfully demonstrating in mission SAS processing, ATR and camera ID components under realistic mine-hunting conditions.
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  • CMRE, previously NURC and SACLANTCEN, is a research institute focusing on developing and evaluating technologies for use by NATO nations in the marine environment.
  • The ARISE 12 experiment was aimed at verifying and evaluating advanced autonomy concepts for AUVs under realistic mine-hunting conditions and included a number of tests where AUVs needed to dynamically re-plan missions and adapt to the local environment.
  • The HUGIN AUV and the HISAS 1030 is a result of a joint development at Kongsberg Maritime and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI).
Roy E. Hansen, project leader for the HUGIN AUV R&D at FFI. Photo: FFI.
- The Royal Norwegian Navy is very satisfied and looks forward to start using the new HUGIN capabilities in MCM operations as soon as possible, says Lieutenant Commander Helge Stian Telle from the Royal Norwegian Navy Mine Warfare Services. Photo: FFI
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