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Spanish Navy to acquire USVs with Maritime Robotics and Kongsberg solutions

Date: 27 Apr 2023 Author: Chief Editor
USV Otter and USV Mariner

🎤 A significant technological leap for the Navy, says Commander Salvador Espinosa Gonzalez-Llanos, on receiving Norwegian drones for maritime data acquisition.

The Instituto Hidrográfico de la Marina (IHM) is the hydrographic institute of the Spanish Navy, set to guarantee safety in navigation, obtaining and distributing nautical charts and publications on the coast profile, seabed, winds, tides, and currents.

🎤 IHM has opted for a significant change in operations by incorporating unmanned autonomous vehicles that currently allow us to mobilize a minimum team of hydrographers in record time, says Navy Commander and Director of IHM, Salvador Espinosa Gonzalez-Llanos.

IHM has increased its capacity for multipurpose operations with three uncrewed vehicles (USV) from the Norwegian company Maritime Robotics.
Under the umbrella of the project VERIL (Vehículo Explorador Robotizado Integral Ligero), IHM selected Kongsberg Discovery to provide both small and compact, and long-range medium USVs fitted with a comprehensive ecosystem of sensors and equipment for a seamless, remote high-quality hydrographic data acquisition, processing, and online visualization and control.

🎤 This has been a huge leap in our capabilities and a significant technological leap for the Navy. These vehicles allow us to remotely monitor and control them from the Institute’s operating room, wherever they are located. In this way, we avoid mobilizing hydrographers in the field. We have acquired another larger vehicle that will allow us to operate remotely in areas of the open sea and areas that are difficult to access or dangerous for navigators, Gonzalez-Llanos says.

IHM is well covered with a range of tasks within subsea data acquisition and multipurpose operations with the Maritime Robotics’ USVs “Otter” and “Mariner.” The USVs are equipped with the Kongsberg-developed Multibeam Echosounder system EM2040 series, Seapath 130, MBR, and µPAP, ideal for seabed mapping, inspections, scouting fish, and data acquisition in ultrahigh resolution. The Otter is designed for repetitive tasks such as bathymetric mapping, while the Mariner can be deployed from an existing fleet of vessels to enhance capabilities with reduced personnel required.

🎤 This project was the perfect challenge for the Mariner. We tested the vessel in challenging winter conditions in the Arctic and a contrasting climate in Spain, all within a tight timeline. We pushed the limits of the number of sensors we could fit together without disturbing the data quality. With adjustments and collaborations with the Kongsberg team, we got the setup we wanted, says Erik Moholt, Product Manager Mariner USV Line in Maritime Robotics.

The collaboration between Kongsberg and IHM goes back to 2000 when the Multibeam technology was integrated into the Spanish Navy fleet as the first technological leap.

🎤 Since then, Kongsberg’s relationship with the IHM has been close and based on the quality of the product and our after-sales service. Incorporating these unmanned vehicles has been the second major technological change I can remember. We hope to continue maintaining the confidence of the Institute towards the team now composed of Kongsberg and Maritime Robotics, says Miguel A. Lleches, Area Sales Manager SUBSEA/Underwater Science in Kongsberg Maritime Spain.
From enhanced safety for personnel to reduced carbon footprint, increased efficiency, and improved capabilities, the benefits of embracing this technology are undeniable, all without compromising data quality.

🎤 We take great pride in supporting IHM with advanced uncrewed maritime survey capabilities. IHM is a forward-thinking customer, recognizing the numerous advantages of integrating uncrewed solutions into their operations. We have full confidence that our products will meet IHM’s high expectations for this cutting-edge technology and look forward to continuing to support IHM in the future., says Kristoffer Fortun, Chief Sales Officer at Maritime Robotics.

📃📷 Source: Maritine Robotics
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