WHAT IS AN AUV?

AUV is the acronym of “Autonomous Underwater Vehicle”. AUV is a kind of underwater submarine system that serves both civilian and military operation autonomously. These systems include vast diversity of sensors and perform these with internal battery blocks. Numerous AUV were designed and manufactured in order to use in Defense, Energy and Scientific research fields which are able to operate in 100 meter to 6000 meter depth.

Most common AUV usage area is Oil (energy) industry. In this field, the AUVs are used to map the sea’s baseline in details. In addition to that, the examination of the underwater pipes is another usage area of this scope.

Oceanographic and hydrographic researches are other two field of application.The AUVs are always more often used to investigate lakes, sea and ocean water and base. During these missions, a wide range of sensors may be mounted on AUV vehicle. 

During these missions, a wide range of sensors may be mounted on AUV vehicle. For instance: Multi-bim Ecosouder side scan sonar, sub-bottom profiler, CTD, DO, pH, Redox, etc. Military applications are primarily mine sweeping, countermeasure and demolition. The AUVs specialized for these scopes use forward looking sonar and side scan sonar to gather data of mine and process the data with mission computer. Moreover, AUV can record the position of mines with USBL or LBL positioning systems.

 

Area of Application

Offshore Industry

As the years go on, oil exploration and its exploitation started to request a greater depth of operation. Over the years, the exploration activities have gone beyond the coastal areas. Currently, petrol is exploitated from 1000 meters depth and it is getting to multiply these depths.[1] In order to search corresponding depths of water, traditional hydrographic survey techniques could 

not meet the satisfactory performance of mission needs. Deployment of sensors and utilization of ROV require a very long umbilical tether in order to send data. These long tethers have made deep-water surveys less productive with cost almost exponentially proportional to the water depth.[1] These technological insufficiencies made offshore industry apply radical changes to get rid of the umbilical.

The autonomous underwater vehicles are a wonderful option to surveying the seabed for the oil and gas industry. In fact, the AUV equipped with a bourne sensors are able to perform perfectly in deep-water sites. AUVs are used to prepare detailed maps of the seabed before that any kind of underwater infrastructure is established on the bottom by the Oil Company. This help can bring huge advantages to the Companies that, in turn, can imstall their equipments in the most cost effective manner. 

AUVs allows the companies to make a precise feasibility report for forecasting whether drilling facilities in a certain ares are feasible or not. Besides that issues, AUVs are widely used in pipeline survey. AUVs can examine the pipe defects, corrosion and buckling with the cutting-edge technology product of TR Teknoloji’s digital image processing and pipe tracking software. Autonomously tracking of pipelines reduces the cost of operation and diminish any kind of health risk for human being, due to hazardous environment. The examination of debris can be permormed much more effective and faster with the AUV in comparison with the traditional methods. TR Teknoloji is gaining respect and growing consideration into the Turkish naval forces because of high-tech equipment provided them. 

Military Application

In the beginning, the use of AUV’s units was widely destinate to the Military applications, in order to avoid high costs of military staff, diminish the risk for human being due to the hazardous environments and, last but not least, because of long duration of military operations. Primarily, autonomus underwater vehicles were developed to perform mine countermeasure and reconnaissance. Afterwards, the systems and the sensors technologies have been improved significantly and this brought to the improvement of the underwater vehicles and their operationalcapability in a vast scale.

Firstly, the AUVs units were built to perform in mine countermeasure missions. This is just because of an unmanned underwater system can dive much more than a professional diver. In addition, this characteristic diminished the possibility of accidents for the divers during the minesweeping missions.

 

During the WWII, the use of AUV’s units looked at a new development. The unmanned underwater vehicle became a strategic weapon in the underwater war. Then, AUVs became the top players of ASW (anti submarine warfare) because of being one of the most dexterous and dedicated tools in a underwater field. Moreover, underwater mapping of a strategic area has a great importance. AUVs have the capability to mapping the underwater seabed with their sensors. Using multibeam echosounders, USBL and LBL allow you having much higher resolution data compared to the traditional methods. Therefore, this dedicated and sophisticated specification makes mission performs more properly and efficiently. However, the AUVs are not yet able to totally substitute the diver’s work, they can just be a great help for them, especially in the shallow or coastal waters. In details, sonars, USBL, DVL or such a sensors can figure out much complexity data rather than a human being diver. Therefore, the guide of a professional diver is still relevant in such a missions.

 

Thanks to the fact that TR Teknoloji is a highly experinced company in defense industry, TR Teknoloji has the know-how to design and manufacture autonomous underwater vehicle dedicated to all above mentioned military utilizations. AUV, TR-92 or GMK are a complete solution to search, seabed mapping, mine countermeasure mission with standart hardware on its stock. And it is the first preference of TURKISH NAVY.

Academic/Scientific Application

From their initial development to their current form, the AUVs have always intended to perform in the academic areas. Actually, the first AUV was developed at the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington as early as 1957 by Stan Murphy, Bob Francois and later on, Terry Ewart. The “Special Purpose Underwater Research Vehicle”, or SPURV, was used to study diffusion, acoustic transmission and submarine wakes.[2] Since 1957, the AUVs have a great importance in research issues. AUVs are often used to study lakes, oceans and their floor.  

 

The AUVs could be used for underwater ecosystem researchs. Acoustic sensors, cameras and dedicated sensors can measure chemical compounds, fish packs, salinity, temperature and even the presence of microscopic life. The modular infrastructure of TR Teknoloji’s AUV allow differentiation with a vast variety of sensors in order to be unique for every research intention.

Science needs long time and improved technology products in order to do research. Today, there are several methods to obtain extensive data on benthic communities.

A different design of a AUV have had an excessively successful in research/scientific ares. AUV with wings named glider can travel up to 14000 km with one charge of battery packs. While glider travels its route, It makes zigzag movement through the sea depth because of its design nature. This movement’s behaviour allow glider to investigate the subsea habitat and other parameters layer by layer for a very long. Another academic utilization of AUVs is the subsea archeology. The academic community, due in part to the limited funding available for vehicle development, has become adept at developing very capable yet low cost vehicles. Because of this reason TR Teknoloji’s AUV systems are a perfect solution to academic employment not only because of affordable choice but also because TR Teknoloji’s AUV product range is equipped with comprehensive and detailed hardware solutions.  

Technical Specifications

Operational Dept

Operation mode

Weight

Body

Payload Capacity

Dimensions

Cruise Speed

Endurance

Power Source

Thrusters

Emergency Relocation

Depth Sensor

Heading Sensor

Altitude

Acoustic Tracking 

Communication Sonar

Navigation

Camera

AUV

1000 msw

Autonomous,

Semi-Autonomous

325 Kg (in the air)

0 Kg (in water with ballast weight)

6000 series aluminum, Stainless Steel

35 Kg

Height: 0,325 meters

Lenght: 2,475 meters

Depth: 0,865 meters

3 Knots

15 hours at cruise speed

Li-polymer battery packs

2 Horizontal and 4 Vertical Thrusters

Emergency Module that contains GPS, radio modem, pinger and flasher iridium and GPRS are optional

GMK

300 msw

Autonomous,

Semi-Autonomous

75 Kg (in the air)

0 Kg (in water with ballast weight)

6000 series aluminum, Stainless Steel

5 Kg

Diameter: 300 mm

Lenght: 2000 mm

3 Knots

15 hours at cruise speed

Li-polymer battery packs

2 Horizontal and 4 Vertical Thrusters

Emergency Module that contains GPS, radio modem, pinger and flasher iridium and GPRS are optional

TR-92 (Glider)

300 msw

Autonomous,

Semi-Autonomous

85 Kg (in the air)

0 Kg (in water with ballast weight)

6000 series aluminum, Stainless Steel

5 Kg

Diameter: 300 mm

Height: 2000 mm

Span: 2000 mm

Mean Chord: 100 mm: 

0,8 Knots (w/out motor)

3 Knots (w/motor)

5000 hours (w/ou7 motor)

50 hours (combined)

Li-polymer battery packs

1 Horizontal Thruster

Emergency Module that contains GPS, radio modem, pinger and flasher iridium and GPRS are optional

Sensors

CTD (Conductivity, Temperature and Depth)

IFG Fiber Gyro Compass

Altimetre

Acoustic modem and USBL

Tritech Seaking Forward Looking Sonar, Edgetech Side Scan Sonar

Teledyna RDI

Workhorse DVL

Color Zoom Camera 

Low Lıght Camera

CTD (Conductivity, Temperature and Depth)

IFG Fiber Gyro Compass

Altimetre

Acoustic modem and USBL

Tritech Seaking Forward Looking Sonar, Edgetech Side Scan Sonar

Teledyna RDI

Workhorse DVL

Color Zoom Camera 

Low Lıght Camera

CTD (Conductivity, Temperature and Depth)

IFG Fiber Gyro Compass

Altimetre

Acoustic modem and USBL

Tritech Seaking Forward Looking Sonar, Edgetech Side Scan Sonar

Teledyna RDI

Workhorse DVL

Color Zoom Camera 

Low Lıght Camera

References

 

  • The Application of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Technology in the Oil Industry – Vision and Experiences by David Bingham, Tony Drake, Andrew Hill and Roger Lott

  • Topic Seminar on AUV by Vijay S.

  • The Development of AUV: a brief summary by D. Richard Blidberg

  • Technology and Applications of AUV edited by Gwyn Griffiths

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