Strategic Robotic Systems (SRS) presented its Fusion hybrid unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) system at DSEI 2017.
In the military sphere the Fusion system has applications in mine countermeasures, port and harbour security, and ship inspection tasks, and is being marketed as a simple, cost-effective, and efficient solution by combining three commonly used functions – autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), remotely operated vehicle (ROV), and diver propulsion and navigation into a single system.
Designed using computational fluid dynamics to optimise speed, stability, and endurance, the underwater vehicle, which weighs 27.5kg in air and has neutral buoyancy in fresh water, has been constructed of composites where possible. with minimal use of stainless steel to reduce magnetic signature. The vehicle is 686 mm in length, 477 mm wide, and 285 mm in height, and has a depth rating of 300m.
Six identical brushless DC thrusters (four vectored and two vertical) propel the vehicle forward at 4–5 kt and provide 16.4 kgf of bollard thrust. Lateral speed is 2.4 kt and vertical speed 2 kt. Power is provided by two 457 W/hr lithium-ion battery packs, which provide 3–4 hours of endurance under typical conditions and can be swapped in minutes.
Fusion’s suite of navigation systems include a Blueprint Subsea SeaTrac Ultra Short Baseline (USBL) with a modem for acoustic communications with the surface, a Nortek high-frequency Doppler Velocity Log and altimeter for accurate bottom track and terrain following capability, an Attitude Heading Reference System, and GPS when at the surface.
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