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Kongsberg's Hugin Endurance AUV starts sea trials

Sea trials of the first Hugin Endurance in progress. (Kongsberg Discovery)

Norway's Kongsberg Discovery has started sea trials of its Hugin Endurance long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), the company confirmed on 26 October.

Launched in 2021, Hugin Endurance has been specifically designed for extended operations in deep sea environments and can be deployed directly from shore or a vessel of opportunity. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, it has an endurance of 15 days at sea, an operating range of 2,200 km or 1,200 n miles, and a depth rating of 6,000 m.

With an overall length of around 11 m, a diameter of 1.2 m, and a weight of 8,000 kg, it is the largest member of the Hugin product family of modular AUVs. New features include swept fins that enable stable and horizontal flight in waters of varying density and more agile bottom avoidance, and a tail design accommodating contrarotating dual propellers aimed at redundancy and improving efficiency.

The AUV is equipped with a Hisas 1032 Dual RX dual receiver synthetic aperture sonar and a dual receiver EM 2040 Mkll multibeam echosounder for seabed mapping and inspection, which, when combined, can generate data across an area close to 1,100 km ² in a single dive. It can also be fitted with traditional side-scan sonars, sub-bottom profilers, colour cameras, laser profilers, and magnetometer and environmental sensors.

Navigation is provided by Kongsberg's Sunstone inertial navigation system (INS) with Hisas micro-navigation, terrain-referenced navigation, and single transponder navigation, which supports unsupervised operations.

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