The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey has recently purchased an Iver2 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) for research purposes. The Iver vehicle enables NOAA to evaluate the expanding role of small, lightweight AUVs for near coastal studies. The vehicle will be equipped with conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) sensors for continuous in situ measurements used to characterise sound velocity in support of hydrographic surveying. The vehicle will also be equipped with OceanServer’s latest long-range radio option for vastly improved tracking and communications compared to standard 802.11 operations.

About NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey

The Office of Coast Survey (OCS) provides services and products to the marine industry, including the US military, other federal government agencies, international organisations, and hundreds of thousands of shippers, fishermen, and recreational boaters. Increasingly, data gathered for nautical purposes is also used by academia, coastal planners, and the general public. NOAA’s Coast Survey Development Laboratory explores, develops, and transitions emerging technologies and techniques of charting, hydrographic, and oceanographic systems used by the Coast Survey and NOAA to support safe and efficient marine navigation and a healthy and sustainable coastal environment.

The Iver Platform

Small portable AUVs, such as the Iver2 AUV, carrying appropriate sensors can supplement traditional survey techniques by improving data collection resolution and increasing survey coverage area. All Iver2 AUV models come standard with OceanServer’s VectorMap Mission Planning and Data Presentation tool, which provides geo-registered data files that can be easily exported to other software analysis tools. The VectorMap programme can input NOAA ENCs or any geo-referenced chart, map or photo image, allowing the operator to intuitively develop AUV missions using simple point-and-click navigation. The base vehicle, with a starting price at just over $50,000 USD, gives university, government and commercial users an affordable base-platform for sensor development or survey applications in water quality, hydrography, sub surface security and general research.