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Sea Platforms

USN to test untethered subsea power concept at ANTEX 2018

03 July 2018
Teledyne Brown’s Glider AUV is one option available to the company’s Untethered Subsea Power node, which is capable of disseminating data to surface and subsurface platforms. Source: Teledyne Brown

The US Navy (USN) will test Teledyne Energy Systems’ untethered subsea power concept at the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) 2018, company officials have disclosed to Jane’s.

Scheduled to take place in August at Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, the exercise is poised to explore multiple technologies, including untethered power nodes designed to increase the persistence and operational effectiveness of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) under the exercise theme of “Human-Machine Interaction”.

Exercise organiser, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport, will take delivery of Teledyne’s solution, which comprises a fuel pump, fuel station, and docking station capable of housing up to four UUVs simultaneously.

The solution centres around Teledyne’s proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology, which provides more than 10,000 of operating hours for small- to medium-sized UUVs, according to Jeff Wolstenholme, senior director for maritime systems at the company.

Speaking to Jane’s at the inaugural Innovation Fair at RIMPAC 2018 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Wolstenholme said that the Subsea Energy Node comprised an Ejector Driven Reactant Fuel Cell System, operating at 16 kW continuous power, and the negative buoyant solution comprised a total mass of 3,370 kg, measuring 3.7 x 1.5 x 1.2 m.

According to Teledyne’s concept of operations for the untethered subsea power node, a rotary wing platform or surface vessel would be capable of inserting the various subsystems onto the ocean floor, enabling UUVs to conduct search patterns or other missions before docking, recharging, and being re-tasked autonomously.

In addition, the docking station has been designed to support the dissemination of data back to alternative platforms and operation centres. A variety of solutions are capable of supporting the transmission of information to other assets across the battlespace.

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