The missions, executed in Vancouver’s Indian Arm inlet, showed the autonomous launch of a micro-AUV from Solus-LR while submerged and underway.
Following the launch, the micro-AUV surfaced and transmitted a status message to Solus-LR’s command and control centre via iridium satellite. The operation was the first of its kind and demonstrated near real-time communications from a submerged AUV.
The demonstration was observed by representatives from Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS), the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Defence Research Development Canada (DRDC), Defence Science & Technology Group (DSTG Australia) and the Minister of State for Trade, Vancouver-Fraserview, George Chow, as part of Cellula’s ongoing work with TAS’ SeaWolf programme.
Built on a research and development project originally sponsored by DRDC under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science and Technology (S&T) Programme that developed Solus-LR, the mission re-enforced the capabilities and potential of a long-range, hydrogen fuel cell powered AUV designed for submerged missions in excess of 2,000km (1,242 miles).
CEO of TAS, Professor Jason Scholz, said this type of power provides an additional viable option to diesel, battery-only and nuclear propulsion.
Cellula Robotics recently secured a contract extension with Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) to continue development on the hydrogen-powered fuel cell module built for Solus-LR.
Solus-LR was developed for Defence Research and Development Canada under the All Domain Situational Awareness Science and Technology Program.
Hydrogen fuel cells and hybrid propulsion systems are also being trialled for other unmanned systems such as USVs (unmanned surface vehicles) and UGVs (unmanned ground vehicles).
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